Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I made 3 different appetizers, 3 types of cookies, 3 different dips, fudge, white chocolate party mix, and there were the fruit, veggie & cheese/cracker trays. We ended up having just under 50 people come. The smoked Chicken Salad and the lemon-spice swirl cookies were new recipes that I tried and they were a hit.
Smoked Chicken Salad
1 (3.5-4 lb.) rotisserie chicken
2 (15 oz.) cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
3/4C chopped chives
1/2C sour cream
1/2t liquid smoke
1 (7 oz.) pkg. miniature pita bread, cut in half
2C spring salad mix
Pull meat off of rotisserie chicken and put in work bowl of food processor. Pulse until meat is coarsely chopped, about 10 sec. In a large bowl, combine chicken, peas, tomatoes, and chives. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, pepper and liquid smoke, stirring until well-combined. Line each pita half with a few leaves of salad mix and stuff with chicken salad. Yield: 40 pita halves.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
When browning ground beef put some water in the pan with it. (Do you already do this?) I read about this a couple of years ago and I LOVE the results. It creates a much softer meat than just browning it normally. So easy and can be poured off when you dump the grease. You can add up to a cup for a pound and remember you will dump it off, it changes the texture and makes it light and lovely. If you have not tried this, I would highly suggest it! Let me know what you think!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I've had this recipe for a long time but I never made it because I knew the kids wouldn't be thrilled with the zucchini and summer squash. I've been making a couple of dishes each week that are new to us, trying to get some new dishes in the mix that everyone likes. I loved this dish, probably more than everyone else. Of the 4 kids, the 11 yr. old didn't like the flavor and picked at it. The other three kids (13, 9 & 9) had seconds.
While it got top ratings with 5 out of 6, I'm still sharing it because it is delicious. The noodles are covered in a creamy cheese sauce with julienned squash and chicken.
Pasta with Chicken and Squash
1 pkg. (16 oz.) spiral pasta
2C whipping cream
1T butter or margarine
2C (8 oz.) shredded Mexican cheese blend or cheddar cheese
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
5T olive or vegetable oil, divided
2 med. zucchini, julienned
2 med yellow summer squash, julienned
1-1/4t salt, divided
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, julienned
1/4t each dried basil, marjoram and savory
1/4t dried rosemary, crushed
1/8t rubbed sage
Cook pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, heat cream and butter in a saucepan until butter melts. Add cheese; cook and stir until melted. Rinse and drain pasta; add to cheese mixture. Cover and keep warm. In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in 3T oil until onion is tender. Add squash; cook until tender. Add 1t of salt and pepper; remove and keep warm. Add remaining oil to skillet; cook chicken with herbs and remaining salt until juices run clear. Place pasta on a serving platter; top with chicken and squash.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
1 3/4 cups Vegetable Shortening
2 tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vinegar
1/2 cup Cold Water
16 tablespoons Jam -- any flavor divided
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
If I were to use Tide, I would spend $13.99 for 52 loads. I'm spending $3.79 for 128 loads of laundry (4 batches of the recipe - 1/4 of the supplies). I bought Mule Team Borax ($2.79), Arm & Hammer Washing Soda ($2.07) and 8 bars Fels Naptha soap ($1.29/ea) for a total of $15.18. For the same number of loads, I can spend $137.75 for Tide or $15.18 and make it myself. I think I'll make my own.
1/2C Washing Soda
1C Fels Naptha, grated
I use a box grater for the Fels Naptha, but you can use your food processor or other grater. Mix it all together and store in a plastic container. Use 1T (yes, that is 1 tablespoon) of soap in your laundry. I use 1/4C white vinegar for softener and I still use a dryer sheet for static cling in the dryer.
Don't expect bubbles like you get with detergents.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I've found as we've lived around the country that cobb salads are different every where. There are some basic parts that are standard (i.e., chicken, tomato, bacon & avocado) and the rest is up to the chef.
10 oz. Romaine lettuce
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1C shredded cheese (I use Monterey/Colby mix)
1C chopped tomatoes
1/2 lb. chicken, cooked and cubed
1 avocado, peeled and cubed
1/2C chopped red onion
1/3C bacon, crumbled or chopped
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies, undrained
2/3C sour cream
1/4C cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
2T lime juice
1/3t hot sauce
For salad, place lettuce in serving bowl. Make columns with remaining ingredients.
For dressing, place ingredients in food processor; blend. Chill until serving.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I used to make the meatballs from scratch but things got busy for a while and I've been using the meatballs from the freezer section.
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple chunks
1T soy sauce
1/2C brown sugar
1 batch of 30 meatballs
1 lg. green pepper, cut into 1" pieces
Hot, cooked rice
Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add water to juice to measure 1 cup; pour into a large skillet. Add water, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and cornstarch; stir until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Add pineapple chunks, meatballs and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve over rice.
I like a little more sauce so I usually add water to bring it to 2C and double the vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar. I use 5T of cornstarch because I don't like it as thick. I leave it with one can of pineapple and one pepper because not all of my kids are fans of those items and I toss in more meatballs so there will be something left over for my husband to take for lunch the next day.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
These breadsticks are a favorite at my house, and they are fairly simple. I have to do a double batch every time just so no one feels like they didn't get enough. I guess the best thing is when I make these, I have to make less of everything else :-).
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I'm still in the middle of a move but I thought I would share something I made earlier this year. I'm one of those people that tears recipes out of magazines and tosses the magazine, which is how I came across this recipe.
I didn't quite use the 2 lbs. of broccoli that the recipe called for. I used all of the florets and 2/3 or so of the stems. I also increased the rice by 1/4C and added cream and broth to compensate for the addition. The cayenne pepper gives it just a hint of a kick, another thing I was a little liberal with. I added 5 min. in the oven for a crunchy topping.
Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread
3/4C grated Parmesan cheese
4T unsalted butter, melted; + 2T, chilled
1 garlic clove, minced
2 lbs. broccoli, florets cut into 1-inch pieces, stems peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped fine
1-1/4C long-grain rice
2C shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/8t cayenne pepper
Heat oven to 400. Grease 9x13 baking dish. Pulse bread, 1/4C Parmesan, and melted butter in food processor until coarsely ground. Add garlic.
Microwave broccoli florets, covered, until bright green and tender, 2-4 minutes; set aside. Melt remaining butter in Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onion and broccoli stems until softened, 8-10 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is translucent, about 1 min. Stir in broth, half-and-half, and salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to med.-low and cook, stirring often, until rice is tender, 20-25 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in cheddar, cayenne, remaining Parmesan and broccoli florets.
Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and top with bread crumb mixture. Bake until sauce is bubbling around edges and top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Serve.
Monday, July 13, 2009
This cake is so yummy! I've been making it for 20 years now and it always receives compliments and requests for the recipe. I have one friend who would be happy if I made the caramel sauce and didn't bother with the cake. She loves the sauce and spoons it on generously with her cake.
Delicate Pear Cake w/ Caramel Sauce
16 oz. can pear halves in extra light syrup
1 pkg. white cake mix
3 egg whites
1C whipping cream
16 oz. can pear halves in extra light syrup, drained
1/2C finely chop
1C brown sugar
1C whipping cream
1/2C butter or margarine
Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour 10" tube pan. Drain pear halves, reserving 1/3C liquid. Place pear halves in food processor with metal blade, process until smooth. In large bowl combine cake mix, pureed pears, reserved liquid, oil and egg whites at low speed. Pour into pan. Bake 40-45 minutes. Cool upright in pan 15 minutes; invert onto serving plate, cool completely.
In small bowl, beat cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in vanilla. Frost cake. Cut pear halves lengthwise into 32 slices. Arrange on top of cake slightly overlapping. Press nuts into sides of cake. Refrigerate until serving time.
In medium saucepan, combine sauce ingredients; bring to boil. Boil over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature. Drizzle 2T sauce over pear slices.
To serve, spoon about 2T sauce onto individual dessert plates. Place slice of cake on sauce. Store cake and sauce in refrigerator.
* High Altitude - above 3500 ft. Add 1/4C flour to dry cake mix. Bake as directed.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Here are two of my favorites. One I found in a Quick Cooking magazine and the other my friend with the Cinnamon Roll recipe gave to me.
Oreo Cream Cheese Drops
1 20 oz pkg. oreos
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese (softened)
15 oz white or chocolate bark
Put all the cookies in the blender and process until finely crushed (a food processor works great too). Mix cream cheese and crumbs together well. Roll into ¾ in. balls and cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour (this makes a huge difference, when you dip them into the chocolate it will harden quickly). Melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler and dip half the balls. Place on waxed paper or buttered dish. Melt the chocolate again if needed or a different color and dip the remaining balls. Drizzle with alternate colors of chocolate and store in refrigerator.
Makes about 7 dozen
1 cake mix-made according to directions (I like chocolate best)
1/4 to 1/2 c. evaporated milk, coffee creamer or half and half
(what I have on hand is what I use)
1 pound dipping chocolate
Bake the cake according the directions on the box and let the cake cool completely. Crumble all of it into a large bowl. Add just enough milk and mix with your hands until you can squeeze some together and it doesn't fall apart. Add flavoring if wanted. My friend likes almond flavoring. Form into golf ball size balls and refrigerate about 30 minutes. Dip into melted chocolate and let harden. One of the yummiest things ever!
I grew up with the idea that if someone could bake great cinnamon rolls, they had become someone to admire. I tried and tried to make them and finally managed pretty decent ones. Then a friend of mine gave me this recipe. Ohhhhh man! If I can make and they come out good, then anyone can. Anyway, here's the recipe.
1 c. milk
1 egg, beaten
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
4 Tbsp. water
½ (3.4 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding
4 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 ½ tsp. yeast
½ c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
Place all the ingredients in the breadmaker. Use the dough cycle. When it is finished, knead dough enough to punch down down and roll to a 17x10 inch rectangle. Mix filling recipe and spread over rolled out dough, getting as close to the edges as possible. Roll the dough into a tight log and cut into 12 pieces. Put into a lightly greased 9x13 pan and let rise until double, about 20-30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Frost with cream cheese icing.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
My dad was in the bishopric at that time, and spoke to the bishop about having me called as the ward sacrament baker. Bishop did extend that calling, and I was furious. I must have been a real darling to live with for a few weeks. My dad was such a jerk, that was so unfair, boy was I mad at him. (those of you without the blessing of puberty in your homes may have to use your imaginations on how sweet the age 14 can be)
I baked wonderful bread for the ward. I was so mad every Saturday when I kneaded that stupid bread, I about kneaded it to death. Well, really good kneading is what good bread takes! I'd bake it, then after it cooled I'd cut all the crust off, slice my bread and bag it up. Mother would make roast beef and gravy, and on Sunday we'd have bread crust with brown gravy over it. I began to enjoy the crust and gravy, and noticed that the family enjoyed it too.
I took some secret pride in the bread I was making, secret I say because to let on to Dad would be to give the man some victory. (I spent my whole youth being careful never to let him win if I could help it) When the deacons skipped Sunday School to sneak into the sacrament prep room and eat all the sacrament bread, I was very flattered! (I think the bishopric had to speed to the Circle K for more) The other kids noticed the good bread and it gave me some small status with the very mature older kids, who never gave me the time of day because they were so magically mature! (I could hardly wait to be that old)
As a young mother I needed desperately to paint and express myself creatively. With a zillion kids trying to help, painting was a joke. I felt I was getting lost to all of those wonderful little people. We were also pretty broke those years, and couldn't afford storebought bread. I began to bake again. As I read, and experimented and began to really understand my new art Tom got involved and built me an adobe oven so that I could replicate European artisan breads. That oven and that bread saved my sanity. I loved my dad for seeing that I learned to bake bread. I still do!
Every Saturday I'd bake the bread I needed for the coming week. After the baking was done, I'd line all the breads out on my table and just watch them cool off. To see the rustic breads, the sophisticated breads, the golden loaves full of nutrition (24 of them) for my family all in rows fed some thing needy inside my spirit. The scriptures about bread are still some of my favorites.
Here is what I learned. Don't laugh. When you make food for your loved ones with your own hands, with a desire to feed and nourish them, using the best ingredients you can afford the Lord blesses it and makes it into an offering for them which, I believe, has more nutrition temporally and passes on the love you feel for them, increasing the bonds between their hearts and yours. I love to bake bread. I love to pass it to others warm and fresh. I love to smell it, feel it and taste it. It is an expression of myself, and a heart offering to others. Especially my dad.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
This recipe calls for buttermilk, which I don't always have hand. I do have powdered buttermilk in the pantry but there are times I have had to make my own substitution, which works just well using two ingredients.
milk (just under 1C)
1T vinegar or lemon juice (I've always used lemon juice)
Place 1T of the vinegar or lemon juice in measuring cup and add the milk to bring it up to 1C. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then use the amount your recipe needs.
2t baking powder
1/4t baking soda
1C (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cheese. Add buttermilk; stir just until dough clings together. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough lightly until easy to handle. Roll into a 12-in. circle. Cut into 8 wedges. Begin at wide end of wedge and roll toward point; place biscuits, point side down, on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 8 biscuits
Friday, June 19, 2009
I am "teaching" a cooking class at my house, and the last lesson was on making bread. I made whole wheat bread to share, and also made some to demonstrate. This is a picture of a loaf, as well as 4 slices. The two slices on the top are made with 100% hard red wheat, and the two on the bottom are made with 100% hard white wheat. The red wheat creates a much denser loaf with a slightly nutty flavor. The white wheat bread is very mild, and tastes more like white bread, but with the benefit of 100% whole wheat bread.
EZ Wheat Bread recipe
1 1/4 cup warm water
1 Tblsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup honey or 1/3 cup sugar
2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
2 Tblsp nonfat non instant dry milk
1 Tblsp butter/margarine/oil
1 Tblsp vinegar
1/4 cup potato flakes (NOT potato pearls)
Mix ingredients in order listed in mixing bowl of mixer with dough hook attachment (like kitchen-aid) for 12-15 minutes. Let rise until double, 1- 1 1/2 hours. Punch down, and shape into loaf or rolls. Let rise again until double and bake 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
If you are making this recipe in a bread machine, follow your bread machine’s directions for wheat or whole grain selection and add the ingredients in the order listed for their recommendations. (only one loaf will fit in a bread maker)