Sunday, May 14, 2017
Happy Mother's Day! I was spoiled today from morning til evening with delicious meals from my husband. For dessert he made crepes and my oldest daughter pulled out this no church two ingredient ice cream that she made. The ice cream went into crepes with more strawberries and Nutella than you have probably ever dreamed of.
This ice cream is decadent. (And not overly sweet like store brand ice cream.) My kids decided I should stop buying ice cream and stock up on whipping cream and sweetened condensed milk. My daughter says you can add vanilla extract or other extracts to the mix or whatever add-ins appeal to you like chopped cookies or fruit.
no church two ingredient ice cream
14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups whipping cream
My daughter says she poured the two ingredients into a bowl and used a hand mixer to whip it up until it formed soft peaks. She poured it into a freezer safe bowl and froze it overnight.
Thursday, May 4, 2017
We had a La La Land party because we had some celebrating to do so I looked online for party ideas and found this easy piano! I didn't know where to find white chocolate kit kat bars so I texted a friend and what do you know- with her help I found them on the first attempt. That's something to sing about. (Tip: Fred Meyer)
candy piano (makelifelovely.com)
white chocolate kit kat bars
mini kit kat bars
All you do is line them up on a tray- as long as you want. This made a really easy alternative to a birthday cake!!
tip: how to cut brownies
This double chocolate mint brownie recipe is one of my most loved and requested recipes and they're easy to make so I like to take them to parties, potlucks, etc. The only thing I didn't like about them was cutting them into bars...until now. I shared this recipe with a friend and she came back and asked if I had ever cut them with a plastic knife. The answer was no. Why would I think to use a plastic knife! She's right- a plastic knife cuts them beautifully! I just had to share this little tip if you should decide to make THESE wonderful brownies. Taking two pans of these delicious brownies to school this morning for teacher appreciation was a cinch.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Hall of Fame. Again! That's two in a row. I felt so fancy after having made this dish. It was soooooo good.
coriander-crusted tilapia with brown rice and vegetable (slightly adapted from Real Simple Magazine, March 2017)
6 tilapia loins (I buy them at Costco frozen then thaw them)
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup shredded carrots
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups whole grain jasmine rice, cooked and hot
3 cups loosely packed arugula and spinach
Pat tilapia dry with paper towels. Combine coriander, pepper and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt in a small bowl. Season tilapia all over with the mixture.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tilapia and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook until opaque, about 1 minute.
Simultaneously, heat a smaller skillet with 1 tablespoon oil.. Add carrots and green onions and cook until almost tender. Add broth and lemon juice and cooked rice. Cook until hot. Add greens and cook until wilted.
Serve tilapia with brown rice and vegetables.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Absolutely delicious. Hall of Fame meals are infrequent but my husband declared it Hall of Fame. I agree. This is my new favorite way to eat fennel...and everything else in this salad!
sheet pan chicken thighs with fennel and shallots (Real Simple Magazine, April 2017)
1 large fennel bulb, sliced into 1-inch thick wedges
4 large shallots, quartered (I used 2 onions)
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips (I used red and orange)
2 lemons, halved crosswise
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided (I cut that in half)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
8 (6 ounce) bone-in, skin on chicken thighs (I used boneless, skinless chicken thigh strips)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
3 cups loosely packed baby arugula (I used a combination of arugula and spinach)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Toss together fennel, shallots, bell pepper, lemons, 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper on a rimmed baking sheet. On a separate baking sheet, rub chicken thighs with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Season with thyme and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
Roast vegetable mixture on top rack and chicken on bottom rack until vegetables are tender and lightly charred, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove vegetables from oven and transfer chicken to top rack. Increase heat to broil and cook until chicken is cooked through and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes more.
Add arugula to baking sheet with vegetables and toss until wilted. Squeeze 1 roasted lemon half over vegetables; serve with chicken and remaining lemons.
Friday, April 14, 2017
My twelve-year old "beehive" in Young Women's went to mutual last night and made this adorable bunny cake and brought it home. Previously, she had asked if we could have carrot cake on Easter while our bunny Berkeley munches on carrots but now we certainly don't need another cake- this one takes the cake! :)
Happy Easter weekend!
hoppy easter cake
You'll need two round cakes, baked. One cake is the face. The other is the ears and bow tie.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Everyone wanted seconds and thirds but there wasn't enough. That's a good sign.
1/2 bag Tyson frozen boneless, skinless chicken thigh strips, thawed (2.7 pound bag)
2 bunches broccoli, separated into florets (I think my store separates whole heads)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
Heat 2 tablespoons sesame oil in pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until cooked through. Add broccoli and sauce. Stir fry until broccoli is bright green. Serve with rice. We like Trader Joe's frozen vegetable fried rice if we need something quick.
Friday, April 7, 2017
It's baseball season. This is our family's first experience having a player on a team and we are going to embrace it. We'll start by taking these to practice this evening. Thank you to my girls for helping with them! Blue raspberry cupcakes with vanilla icing and stripes. Yuck to the artificual blue raspberry. I mean yum (if you're 7)! :)
This is a see-and-do recipe. I saw them in a magazine years ago and looked forward to the day it would come in handy.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
I'd seen these all over the internet and wanted to make them for April Fool's Day. I used my favorite Italian meatloaf recipe and they were quite tasty! As I piped the potatoes onto the base my son said I was using quite a lot of icing. When we sat down to dinner one of my daughters toasted two slices of toast- she said she thought cupcakes for dinner sounded weird. She ended up eating one.
italian meatloaf cupcakes
2 pounds extra lean ground beef
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
mashed potatoes (homemade or store bought- great use for leftover mashed potatoes!)
gravy (I used leftover gravy from when we had a roast earlier in the week)
Prepare muffin cups by lining each one with a square of foil. Lightly spray each cup of foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce and oregano. Make sure the ingredients are mixed well. Use a round 1/3 cup scoop to scoop up the meat mixture and put one into each cup.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Warm some mashed potatoes and put them into a sturdy zip-lock bag. Force the potatoes into one corner. Snip the corner like a pastry bag and pipe the potatoes onto the "cupcake". Sprinkle some bacon bits on top and drizzle with gravy.
Sunday, April 2, 2017
HALL OF FAME! I am re-posting these because they are so extremely fantastic. We've been making them every 6 months for General Conference for a minimum of 5 years. Today I used mini chocolate chips instead of cranberries and I think that will be a new tradition. We love chocolate. These are truly amazing.
citrus cream cheese pull apart rolls (Your Home Based Mom)
1 package frozen roll dough (25 ounces)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries (I use chocolate chips today)
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 (8 ounce) block 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 large egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 cup powdered sugar
5 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Thaw roll dough at room temperature.
Cut rolls in half. Place 24 halves, cut sides down, in bottom of each of 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray. Brush butter evenly over rolls. Cover; let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 30 minutes. Sprinkle with dried cranberries. Combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar, cream cheese, orange juice and egg; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Pour cream cheese mixture evenly over rolls. Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and rinds. Sprinkle evenly over rolls. Cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Note: Sometimes I stop here and refrigerate the rolls overnight to bake the next day.
Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Bake for 20 minutes. Cover with foil. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until rolls in center are done. Remove from oven; cool 15 minutes. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over rolls.
Friday, February 17, 2017
Primary is in charge of this activity and it's going to be a fun one- we just set up this morning. Our ward congregation is going to enjoy an ice cream buffet followed by a service project. For the service project, in the RS room we've set up a cookie/candy buffet with cellophane bags and gift tags so we can assemble goodie bags for friends and neighbors. There are enough bags so that 100 can be distributed after the activity. All we need to do before the activity is put toppings into glass pedestal dishes that we made for the last ward activity we hosted and set of the ice cream, warmed Nutella and whipped cream. I am hoping for a good turn out!
(I made 100 paper flowers using Martha Stewart kits I found 80% off on clearance at Michael's. That find was meant to be!)
Saturday, February 11, 2017
tender, yummy beef (pass the peas, please)
1 1/2 pounds beef bottom round roast pre-sliced ("carne asada" style)
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 onion, sliced into rings
1 green bell pepper, sliced into rings
1 cup water
whatever you need to make sandwiches, nachos, fajitas, etc.
Spray slow cooker with nonstick spray. Put the sliced meat into the slow cooker with the onion soup mix, onion and pepper rings. Pour a cup of water over the top. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Remove meat, onions and peppers with a slotted spoon and serve it as you wish.
Thursday, February 9, 2017
I love Costco. It just made Valentine's Day so easy (if I don't think about the Valentine's luncheon that I am hosting at my house that day). Two of my kids will be passing out valentines at school so I needed 48 of something. Sooner rather than later. I didn't know what until I saw a box of 50 bags of chips at Costco. I quickly Googled "valentines made from bags of chips" and what do you know- my children will have fun valentines!
I hope my kids are not disappointed that I did not consult them. I'm pretty sure they wanted Harry Potter valentines. Sorry kids! If I have my way this will be our new go-to!
yippee chippee valentines
I was able to find some cute sayings and made some tags:
(I used a super cute font called Cupid de Locke which is a free downloadable font)
Classic, Sour Cream & Onion and BBQ: Because a classic cannot be beat, I think you're super neat.
Cheetos & Doritos: I hope this isn't too cheesy a way to say Happy Valentine's Day!
Cool Ranch: This might come across a little silly but I think you are COOL- really!
Fritos: This may be a little CORNY but- will you be my valentine?
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
This is a really nice feel-good soup. I doubled the recipe so I could take some to a friend...which I realize is risky when making a new recipe but I figured this one would be good. I grabbed a few new cookbooks at the library last night and this is the first of several new recipes I'd like to try.
chicken alfredo soup (adapted from BH&G New Cook Book, 16th edition)
3 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups chopped celery
1 onion, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
2 jars light Alfredo sauce
1 envelope vegetable soup mix (I used Knorr Spring Vegetable Recipe Mix)
2 cups cooked broken whole wheat spaghetti
In a dutch oven, cook chicken with carrots, celery and onion. When chicken is no longer pink, add broth, alfredo sauce and vegetable soup mix. Add spaghetti. Simmer covered for 15 minutes.
It was one of those days when I had NOTHING planned for dinner. I had some meatballs in the freezer so went looking for a super speedy sauce to go with them and found this recipe. They were a hit but honest to goodness next time I will make my own meatballs. Packaged meatballs are just not as good as homemade.
meatballs with creamy mushroom sauce (adapted from allrecipes.com)
1 package meatball, 24 meatballs (I strongly prefer homemade!)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I used Campbell's healthy request)
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley (fresh would be better but I was in a hurry, remember?)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 can milk
For the sauce, whisk the soup, parsley, pepper, Italian seasoning, chili powder and milk together in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat then turn to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add cooked meatballs to the sauce and coat the meatballs with the sauce.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
You can use this recipe for any kind of ice cream pie. It just so happens I made two peppermint ice cream pies last month, put them in the freezer and forgot about them! :) It's just as well- my family has been loving them and they're better appreciated a month after Christmas when the house is not as candy-filled. Four ingredients and you have an impressive dessert- your kids' eyes will pop out of their sockets.
ice cream pie (pass the peas, please)
1 carton of any kind of ice cream (I used peppermint)
2 pre-made graham cracker pie crust (I used chocolate)
Hershey's chocolate sauce or Nutella
Let the carton of ice cream sit out for about 10 minutes to soften.
Scoop half the carton of ice cream into one pie crust. Scoop the other half of the carton of ice cream into the other pie crust. Use a spoon (and fingers) to spread the ice cream evenly into the pie crusts.
Cover with the plastic cover that came with the pie crusts and put into the freezer.
When ready to serve, cut each pie into 8 slices. Pour chocolate sauce over the top or a big glob of nutella and top with whipped cream. Enjoy!
Saturday, January 14, 2017
My daughter and I made some desserts for a wedding reception tonight to add to a long list of homemade desserts that others have made. I made chocolate mint fudge and sugar cookie bars. My daughter made these smooth-as-silk chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing. It's the icing that's special, and the recipe is all hers!
Erin- if you're reading this, think of this as a buckeye cupcake. :)
chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing (my daughter)
46 of your favorite chocolate cupcakes, baked and cooled
3 sticks butter
2 cups smooth peanut butter
4 cups powdered sugar
Melt butter. Add the peanut butter and blend until thoroughly combined and creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar.
Load a decorator's bag full of icing and go to town! Add some chocolate sprinkles if you wish.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Get your taste buds ready for some good cake. My daughter and I found this recipe for Greek Fest which is taking place today! We made two batches of this cake this morning (6:15am) so it's fresh and warm and gooey with an orange essence. It's going to be a hit.
greek honey cake (food.com)
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 cups chopped walnuts (we omitted since we made it for a school project)
2 cups sugar
2 cups honey (We used Turkish honey from Trader Joe's)
1 1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and orange rind. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Stir in the walnuts.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then cut into diamond shapes.
Pour honey syrup over the cake. For the Honey Syrup: In a saucepan, combine honey, 1 cup sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
No joke- I think this really is the world's best lasagna. Over 10,000 people at allrecipes declared it 5 stars. My husband is sure it's the spicy sausage I used, which was my idea. :) My entire family enjoyed this dish and my husband typically doesn't enjoy lasagna, nor two of my kids. They kept remarking that it tasted like pizza. My oldest was eating it out of the pan as I was trying to put away the leftovers.
world's best lasagna (adapted by allrecipes.com)
Note: I made it simpler and lower in fat.
2 pounds hot chicken Italian sausage (see image below)
1/2 cup onion, minced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons sugar (I used 1 Tbsp sugar substitute)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
10 no-bake whole wheat lasagna noodles (see image below)
16 ounces ricotta cheese (I used fat free)
1/2 teaspoon salt
handfuls of shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, paste, sauce and water. Season with sugar, basil, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and half the parsley. Simmer, covered for 1 1/2 hours.
Combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
To assemble, spread 1 1/2-2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 5 noodles over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a couple handfuls of mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1 1/2-2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil. To prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.