Thursday, June 30, 2011
I'm back to cooking in my own kitchen and it feels so good! I'm still learning my way around which slows me down a bit but I'm having a good time. I wish I had doubled this recipe because my kids went crazy for it. My 1 1/2 year old kept shouting out, "more meat!". I wonder where he gets that. This is a repeater for sure.
chinese beef with broccoli (Food Network Magazine, June 2011)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
5 tablespoons peanut oil (I got away with using half)
1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 thin slices peeled ginger
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 large onion, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick
3 plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
2 cloves garlic, minced
cooked jasmine rice, for serving
Whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a large bowl. Add the steak and toss to coat; refrigerate until ready to cook.
Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon each cornstarch and soy sauce, the oyster sauce and chicken broth in a small bowl; set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in large skillet over high heat. Add the ginger, broccoli and the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar and stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes; transfer to a plate. Heat 1 more tablespoon peanut oil in the skillet, add the onion and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, turning gently, 2 minutes. Transfer the onion and tomatoes to the plate with the broccoli.
Reduce the heat to medium high; add the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil to the skillet. Add the garlic and steak and stir-fry 1 minute. Whisk the sauce mixture, then add to the skillet and simmer 1 minute. Return the vegetables to the skillet; cook until the meat is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with rice, if desired.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
I had to make biscuits and gravy for my dad and sister before leaving town because they love biscuits and gravy. My grandpa has always loved them to so we dropped some off at his house. This was a great recipe. Tasted just like good 'ol biscuits and gravy. We'd never dream of making them without the HOT sausage. Hooray for drop biscuits; they're so much easier than having to roll them out.
We celebrated my mom's birthday early since my kids and I are flying out tomorrow. My mom's favorite has always been German chocolate cake so I decided on this version. I'll never try another. This was a great recipe. Everyone licked thier plates clean and my mom (who is always on a diet) grabbed another slice since it was her birthday. I can't remember when my mom wasn't on a diet while growing up. I always knew she was being silly even as a really little girl. I still think she's being silly.
crunchy-topped cocoa cake (cookbook: Easy Baking Hershey's Cocoa)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
broiled topping, below
Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour 8-inch square pan (I used round). Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add water, oil, vinear and vanilla; beat with spoon or whisk until batter is smooth and well blended (I used a hand mixer). Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare broiled topping; spread on warm cake. Set oven to broil, place pan about 4 inches from heat. Broil 3 minutes or until top is bubbly and golden brown. Remove from oven. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Combine 1/4 c up softened butter, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans), 1/2 cup MOUNDS sweetened coconut flakes and 3 tablespoons light cream or evaporated milk (I used heavy whipping cream) in small bown until well blended.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I had this dish at my friend Annie's home. I can't remember the occasion but I never need a reason or a special occasion to get together with a friend and eat well. On Father's Day we had BBQ ribs (Tony Roma's from Costco, they were great!), blue cheese salad, macaroni and cheese, garlic bread and chocolate molten cake with raspberries for dessert.
macaroni and cheese (my friend Annie found this recipe from The Barefoot Contessa)
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 quart milk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup flour
12 ounces Greyere cheese, grated (4 cups)
8 ounces extra sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 pound fresh tomatoes (4 small)
1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)
Preheat oven to 375. Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6-8 minutes. Drain well. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large 4-quart pot and add the flour. Cook over low for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the cheeses, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish. Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on top.
What I have to say- There was a little bit left in my pan after pouring it into the baking dish so the kids and I had some that was pre-baked. It was delicous! Next time I might skip the breadcrumbs and baking and go straight to the eating. I really liked the saucy, cheesy pasta.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 bag chocolate chips
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Saturday, June 18, 2011
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
Friday, June 17, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
I've been wanting to try this recipe for weeks now and tonight was the perfect night. My family is a meat and potatoes kind of family and this was a HIT! It's so simple to prepare and so good. The sauce is thick and flavorful. It got rave reviews tonight. I made one casserole with the onions and one without for the picky eaters. It's fantastic either way.
potato dill casserole (blog: A for Effort)
3 chicken breasts, cubed
6 medium potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (10 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon beef bouillon powder
1/2 teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken, potatoes and onions in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Spread the soup mixture over the potatoes and chicken. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until the potato is tender and the chicken is cooked through.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
We really enjoyed these meatballs! They are great with marinara and/or alfredo sauce. My 3-year old nephew said, "I could eat these all day long!". Next time I'll put them into a hoagie with marinara and mozzarella and top with a few pepperoncini.
classic pesto meatballs (Ladies Home Journal, March 2011)
2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, finely diced
1/3 cup prepared pesto
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta or cottage cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Roll meatballs and freeze or cook. To cook, bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes for small meatballs. Makes about 4 dozen.
Monday, June 13, 2011
This bread is incredible. Hall of Fame! I've made this bread twice. Once with Cheddar cheese and this time with Jalapeno Jack cheese. I have to say the Jalapeno Jack cheese definitely won me over.
olive cheese bread (The Pioneer Woman)
1 loaf of Italian bread, sliced in half legnthwise
6 ounces chopped green olives
6 ounces chopped black olives
2 green onions, sliced
1 stick butter
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, grated (I used Cheddar cheese)
Comine butter, mayonnaise, cheese, olives and green onions. Spread onto bread. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
All the beautiful red rock surrounding us here in Southern Utah makes me feel like I'm "home, home on the range" which inspired these burgers. Tonight we had these delicious ranch burgers, which were a big hit, baked beans, rosemary potato wedges, corn on the cob, watermelon and homemade strawberry ice cream. Not your typical Sunday dinner but the family I grew up in is anything but typical.
ranch burgers (allrecipes.com)
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 (1 ounce) package spicy ranch dressing mix
1 onion, minced
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup crushed saltine crackers (I used Triscuits)
Combine all ingredients and shape into patties. Grill. Place on fresh hamburger buns and top with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickles.
Friday, June 10, 2011
When I saw a can of pumpkin in my mom's pantry I knew I had to find a way to use it. We found the perfect recipe and here it is. This recipe received 5 star ratings and we know why! These rolls are sensational and everyone in this house agrees.
streusel pumpkin cinnamon rolls (Taste of Home)
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm 2% milk
1 cup solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
4 3/4 to 5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the pumpkin, sugar, butter, salt and flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 to minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 12x10 inch rectangle. Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice. Cut in butter until crumbly. Set aside 1 cup. Sprinkle remaining struesel over dough to within 1/2 inch of edges; press down lightly. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with long side; pinch seams to seal. Cut each into 12 slices. Place cut side down in two greased 13x9-inch baking pans. Sprinkle with reserved streusel. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375 for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, combine the confectioner's sugar, vanilla and enougn milk to achieve desired connsistency; drizzle over rolls. Serve warm. Makes 2 dozen.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
These were a very big hit today. My sisters agreed that these are better than the real thing and one said she wanted to hide a secret stash. I have to admit they're pretty good.
homemade twix bars (blog: Cucina di Harwood)
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
Crumble crust ingredients together and be sure it is mixed very well. Pack into a 9x9 inch pan that has been sprayed, lined with foil and sprayed again. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Put the butter for the caramel filling in a heavy saucepan and melt. Combine remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. As soon as it starts to boil start a timer and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir with a spoon slowly until it shows signs of thickening, a few minutes. Pour over crust and let cool a little. For the chocolate layer, melt the chocolate chips and shortening in the microwave. Pour over caramel layer and spread carefully. Cut into bars. Enjoy!
We made it to my parent's house! It's so fun being here with my parents and extended family. I thought we should get right to work in the kitchen and we had a good time. I had lots of good helpers! My grandma who is no longer with us used to make "jammers" so this recipe reminded me of her. When my grandpa came to dinner and saw them he said, "Has Grandma been here?" These are great cookies and my dad couldn't keep away from them! He said, "You can't just eat one so I'm trying to eat two small ones at a time."
berry jam rounds with lemon icing (blog: or so she says)
1 1/2 cups butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 teaspoons flour
homemade jam- we used strawberry and blackberry
3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar
12 teaspoons lemon juice
Heat oven to 350. Cream the butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a mixer. Slowly add the flour and mix well. Roll the dough into small balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Press your finger, gently, in the middle of the ball to flatten and leave an indentation in the middle, to be a "pocket" for the jam. Fill each pocket with a dollop of jam. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until you see a slight hint of a golden color on the cookie. Remove from oven and let cool. Meanwhile, mix the powdered sugar and lemon juice to make the icing. Squiggle the icing across the tops of the cookies (I used a zip-lock baggie).
Sunday, June 5, 2011
I love a good marinade- it's nice to have several great marinades to choose from because grilling makes dinner so easy!
grilled soy ginger marinated steaks (blog: Can You Stay For Dinner?)
makes 2/3 cup
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons brown sugar (I used half)
3 garlic cloves, minced
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Use as a marinade for chicken, pork or beef and let soak for at least 2 hours and up to 24.
Friday, June 3, 2011
I had a few friends offer to make meals for my family before our move across the country, just several days away. At first I resisted. Then I realized I was CRAZY to resist and accepted. As our move approaches I feel more and more grateful to my friends knowing I can count on their meals which will enable me to accomplish as much as I can and put my focus where it should be and it's so fun because they're all fabulous cooks so we're in for a real treat. Thank you friends!
This barbecue chicken pizza is terrific. Absolutely terrific. I had never had a homemade grilled pizza before. Please go and make one for yourself.
grilled bbq chicken pizza (my friend Laura)
1 package Pillsbury Pizza Crust Dough
1-2 grilled chicken breasts, diced and rubbed with Grill Mates Barbecue seasoning then baste with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce as it cooks
1 cup sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce
4 pepperoncini's, sliced
red onion, thinly sliced
dash or oregano
Unroll onto cookie sheet. Brush one side with olive oil. Lay the oiled side directly onto hot grill. Brush top side with olive oil. Cook about 2 minutes, just long enough for crust to get hard on the bottom, then flip it over. Now add toppings and cook until cheese is melted, about 4 minutes.
I've always enjoyed this marinade. It has a great, bold flavor and compliments just about every side you can think of.
1 medium-size onion, coarsely chopped (I used red this time)
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Combine ingredients and marinade chicken for several hours or overnight.
What I have to say- I marinaded this chicken for 48 hours. It was GREAT! It would be really great in a fresh roll with mozzarella, pepperoncini and red onion.
My friend Laura made our family a grilled barbecue chicken pizza and a grilled pepperoni pizza for dinner last night. I don't have the recipes yet but I'm working on it! You'll have to make those. But first, you'll want to stop what you're doing and make these layer cookie bars right now. They are incredible. I wasn't even sure what was in them when I first tried them but they are rich, rich, rich. Absolutely unreal. Hall of Fame for sure!!
P.S. I had another taste of my friend Morgane's ultimate chocolate brownies last night and was reminded of how sinful they are. You've got to try those too.
hershey's layer cookie bars (my neighbor friend Laura)
1 1/2 sticks butter
6 tablespoons Hershey's cocoa
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup Heath Bits o' Brickle toffee bits
1 3/4 cup crushed vanilla wafer crumbs (about 50 wafers, crushed)
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
Heat oven to 350. Melt butter in a 13x9x2-inch pan in oven. Combine crumbs, cocoa and sugar; sprinkle over butter.
Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly on top of crumb mixture. Top with chocolate chips and toffee bits, then nuts; press down firmly.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Chill, if desired. Cut into bars. Store covered at room temperature. About 36 bars.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
This is one of my favorites that my mom makes really well. Whenever I visit her or she visits me I ask her to make it so I can watch her and try to make it how she makes. She doesn't follow a recipe yet it tastes the same every time. It's hearty and flavorful and I'm sure I don't do it exactly how she does it but mine is still good!
swiss steak (my mom)
2 pound London Broil
1 (15 ounce) can diced petite tomatoes
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 cup water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
Sprinkle both sides of London Broil with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add London Broil and brown on both sides. Add bouillon cubes, water and tomatoes. Put a lid over the skillet and reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 2 hours or until meat is tender and pulls apart easily with a fork.
Take meat out of the skillet and add a little Wondra to turn drippings into a nice gravy. Serve over hot mashed potatoes (my mom's favorite), pasta (I was using up what I had) or rice.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
This has been a favorite of mine since I was very young. My mom liked to marinate a London Broil and have my dad grill it (and he always liked to grill everything until it was "dead", and still does). This marinade is great for beef or chicken. I often requested mom's grilled teriyaki with double baked potatoes for my birthday dinners.
mom's teriyaki sauce (my mom)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup oil (I use half that)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients and marinate your favorite meat. For best results, marinate overnight then throw on the grill!
What I have to say- I remember my mom would often double the recipe. She would ask my dad to put the meat on the grill and as the meal grilled she'd boil the excess marinade in a saucepan over the stove so she could pour the marinade over the cooked meat. Delicious!
This is Food Network Magazine's imitation recipe for Chipotle's roasted chili-corn salsa. The first time I tried it I served it as a salsa and I didn't feel the flavors had settled well enough but it was delicious on my Cafe Rio style salad. The second day it was perfect served as a salsa so be sure to "marinate".
roasted chili-corn salsa (Food Network Magazine, June 2011)
1/2 small poblano chile pepper, seeded
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears) or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Preheat a grill to medium high. Brush the poblano with 1 teaspoon olive oil and grill, skin-side down, until charred but still firm, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly; peel and finely chop.
If using fresh corn, bring a small pot of slated water to a boil. Ad the corn and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes; drain.
Mix the corn (if using frozen, add it here), poblano, jalapeno, cilantro and red onion in a bowl. Stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, the lime juice, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
What I have to say- be sure to refrigerate for several hours to overnight to let the flavors come together.
My friend Annie made this delicious dressing for our fiesta Monday night. A salad is a sum of all its parts and this is definitely a really good part. YUM!
cilantro lime dressing (my friend Annie)
1/2 to 3/4 bottle Ranch dressing
juice of two limes
large handful of cilantro
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 to 1 minced jalapeno
Blend together and serve on your Cafe Rio style salad or burrito!