Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Southwest Chicken and Sweet Potato Fries

Grilled Southwest Chicken
Not really a recipe, but I thought I would share I love this marinade for chicken. Just follow the directions on the back of the packet and grill or bake.

Oven-Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Supposedly sweet potatoes are better for you than regular potatoes, so I gave this recipe a try last night by Cat Cora. I don't even like sweet potatoes usually but these were good. You just have to get them crispy enough and eat them while they're hot.

Ingredients:Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. dried Italian herb seasoning
Preheat oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray.

Spread the sweet potato strips out onto the baking sheet in a single layer, coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and spices, turning them over to evenly coat on all sides with oil and spices.

Bake for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes with spatula. Serve warm.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Crock Pot Sweet Pork

This recipe is a family favorite...and come to find out (looking in the blog archives)it's a lot like Chelsea's Crock Pot Chicken Tacos, except using Pork

1 pork tenderloin
1 jar Pace Picante (24oz)(mild or medium)
1 cup brown sugar

We usually get our pork at Costco, they come in a 4 pack
While we're at Costco we also grab these tortillas

1) Put pork in crock pot
2) In another bowl mix brown sugar and Picante together
3) Pour mixture over pork
4) turn on high for 4-5 hours
5) Once done shred

We like to do ours Cafe Rio style. We will put the sweet pork in a big flour tortilla, add black beans, cilantro/lime rice, and cheese (we like jalepeno jack, but is good with any kind really). Then roll that sucker up and enjoy!!!

To make cilantro lime rice, just add chopped cilantro and lime juice once the rice is done cooking. Easy peasy!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Taco Soup

This recipe is SO easy because it is mostly canned! ;) And it makes a TON

1 lb ground beef
1 large onion chopped
1 can pinto beans (undrained)
1 can black beans (undrained)
1 can red beans (undrained)
1 can corn (undrained)
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
1 can Rotel spicy tomatoes
2 small cans chopped green chili
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 cup water
1 bag Fritos
Shredded cheddar cheese

Cook meat & onions in large pot, drain fat. Stir in everything except Fritos and cheese. Bring to boil and let simmer for 15 minutes uncovered. Serve in bowl and top with Frito's and cheese.

Funi Salad

I know this sounds a bit weird, but I promise....it is SO good!!

(i usually half the recipe and it still makes a lot)

2 small heads cabbage (1 purple and 1 green)
8 green onions
8 Tbs sesame seeds - toasted
8 Tbs sliced almonds - toasted
2 packages top ramen noodles - broken up a wee bit
1 bell pepper - chopped

4 Tbs sugar
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 cup oil
6 Tbs rice vinegar

Pour dressing on right before serving

Thursday, October 22, 2009

okay, okay....here are some dang recipes :)

So...this is for you Robyn...I'm actually really embarrassed that I am putting these on this blog because I don't really consider them recipes when they are soooo easy and only have a few ingredients....anyway, here they are for what they are worth.

Sorry...no pictures...I wasn't even going to attempt it!

Cheese Enchiladas

Green enchilada sauce
Lots of shredded cheddar cheese
Flour tortillas (as many as you need for however many enchiladas you are going to make)
Preheat oven to about 300 degrees

So.....completely immerse the tortillas in the green enchilada sauce (I usually pour the sauce into a pie pan for an easier dipping process) and then roll up a whole lot of cheese inside the now dripping tortilla and then place in glass Pyrex cooking dish. Complete this process again and again until you are satisfied with how many enchiladas you want. I usually cram a whole bunch in there. Then, take remaining cheese and spread on top of enchiladas and pour more enchilada sauce on top. Cover with tinfoil and bake on low for about an hour and then remove tinfoil and continue baking (you can turn the oven higher at this point if you want to speed up the process) until it gets a bit crusty on top (maybe 30 more minutes or so). Enjoy!!!

Easy Crock pot Chicken (found this recipe at AllRecipes.com)

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cheddar cheese soup
8 chicken breasts (uncooked and lightly seasoned with a bit of garlic salt and onion salt)
Sour cream (if so desired)

Just FYI, I lighten this meal up by using the low fat or fat-free soup and sour cream.

So.....put the chicken in the crock pot, add the three different cans of soup (try to mix the soup together a bit) and cook on low pretty much all day (6-8 hours). At the end you can mix in 1 cup of sour cream (still really good without it and probably better for you). Eat this over rice, veggies, or pasta. Sometimes I will also saute a few mushrooms at the very end and add them at the same time as the sour cream.

Oh and sometimes, I use the left over chicken and sauce and add them to the aforementioned enchiladas just to spice it up a bit. It is very delicious!

Brownies (with carrot & spinach)

This recipe is from the "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook

***Dont' serve the brownies warm - it's not until they're completely cool that the spinach flavor totally disappears***

Nonstick cooking spray
3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup carrot puree (can use baby food)
1/2 cup spinach puree (can use baby food)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbs trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup oat flour; or all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8x8-inch baking pan with cooking spray
2) Melt the chocolate in a double broiler or over a very low flame
3) In a large bowl, combine the melted chocolate, vegetable purees, sugar, cocoa powder, margarine, and vanilla, and whisk until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
4) Whisk in egg whites. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt with a wooden spoon.
5) Pour the batter into the pan and bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 bars.

***These brownies are low in calories (only 133 per brownie) and saturated fat. They're also packed with 3 grams of fiber, while spinach and carrots provide two powerful antioxidants that help your kids' eyes stay healthy!***

Here are some tips on how to prepare and puree the spinach and carrots. You could also use baby food.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Potato & Onion Chowder

Its soup season!! My favorite!! I made this twice last week and each time forgot to take a pic. I'm sure I'll be making it again soon and will upload a pic then.

1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
2 Tbsp butter
1 can (about 14oz) condensed chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
Dash of pepper
2 cups cubed potatoes (i usually put in a little more, whatever 2 large potatoes give me)
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup light cream
1 tsp. chopped parsley (I will use dry parsley sometimes, still tastes good)

Saute onions & celery in butter until transparent, but not browned. Add chicken broth, salt, pepper, and potatoes. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add milk, light cream, and parsley. Heat thoroughly. Makes about 4-5 servings.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
3 Cups Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Nutmeg
3/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp Ginger
(1) 15oz can of Pumpkin
1/2 Cup Oil
1 Egg
2 1/2 Cups Chocolate Chips

1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl
2. Combine all wet ingredients in a different bowl
3. Combine all
4. Add Chocolate Chips
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes; makes a lot!! over 3 doz.
6. ENJOY!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie

I just made the best smoothie and I have to write down what I put in it before I forget. Give it a try!

(all of the measurements are very approximate...)

8 ice cubes
1 Yoplait lemon burst yogurt
4-5 large frozen Costco strawberries
1/8 cup Country Time pink lemonade mix
1 cup water

Blend and enjoy. Mmmm.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tomato and Spinach Pasta Toss

This was really good and easy so I had to share! To make it a little healthier I used whole wheat pasta, and instead of italian sausage I used those Jimmy Deans turkey sausage links that are pre-cooked. I just heated them up on the skillet then chopped them up in little pieces.

2 cups rotini or penne pasta, uncooked
1/2 lb. hot or mild Italian sausage, casing removed
1 pkg. (6 oz.) baby spinach leaves (7 cups)
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

COOK pasta as directed on package.

MEANWHILE, crumble meat into large deep skillet. Cook on medium-high heat 10 to 12 min. or until cooked through, stirring occasionally; drain. Add spinach and tomatoes; cook 2 min. or until spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.

DRAIN pasta. Add to skillet along with the cheeses; toss lightly.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Caramel-Filled Chocolate Cookies

This was my grandmother's recipe and the cookies are a huge hit in my family. For more of a turtle cookie, add some chopped pecans to the dough batter. Yummy!

1 c. sugar
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. butter
2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. flour
3/4 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 t. baking soda
48 Rolos
1 T. sugar

Combine 1 c. sugar, brown sugar and butter. Add vanilla and eggs, mix well. Combine in small bowl, flour, cocoa and baking soda, mix well. Add to sugar mixture, mix well. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Heat oven to 375. With floured hands shape 1 T. of dough around 1 Rolo candy, covering the candy completely. Roll in sugar. Bake 7-10 minutes or until slightly cracked.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cafe Rio Lime Rice

I found this online. I tried it. I was taken back to Provo.

Seriously almost an exact recipe, and SO yummy and easy!

4 T butter
2 1/2 C rice
4 1/2 C chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp salt
juice from for limes or 4 T lime juice
4 T chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin

Dump in rice cooker until done.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Petite Watermelons

Petite Watermelons

2 limes
1 small box of red Jello
mini chocolate chips

Cut both limes in half lengthwise. Scoop out all the fruit with a spoon. Place the limes in a muffin tin to keep them from tipping over. Make the box of Jello according to the Jiggler directions. Carefully spoon Jello into the limes halves. Chill until almost firm. Using a skewer push the mini chocolate chips into the Jello for "watermelon seeds." Chill until until firm, then cut into slices.
(Got this cute idea from: Chocolate on My Cranium)

Fast Easy Artichoke Dip

Artichoke Dip
by Monette Magleby

1/2 cup Mayo
1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese
1 can chopped green chillies (4 oz.)
1 can artichoke hearts (not marinated) quartered, drained

Mix, cook for 20 minutes at 350 deg. I double this recipe.
Artichoke Dip
by Mimi Chipman

2 (8oz.) pkgs. cream cheese
1/2 cup mayo
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. white pepper or pinch of black
1 T. dill weed
salt to taste
2 cans artichoke hearts, quartered, drained

Let cream cheese come to room temperature. Combine all ingredients. Bake in shallow dish @400 deg. until golden brown on top.

~serve with pita chips or tortilla chips, both are good, just depends on what mood your in!

bread tips

Click on Pictures to Enlarge - These are from 'The America's Test Kitchen' cook book also

hmm, that was too easy. maybe i will just start scanning in my recipe's, then it wont take as long and there will be better pictures

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

American Sandwich Bread

This recipe is from 'The America's Test Kitchen' cookbook (this a condensed version)

1) Mix dry ingredients together in bowl:
3 1/2 c flour (substitute 1 c wheat flour if desire)
2 t salt
1 pkg dry active yeast

2) Heat liquids to about 110 degrees F: (using warm milk and water is key for proper rising time. If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast, and it is too cold, the dough will take much longer to rise)
1 c milk
1/4 c water
3 T melted butter
3 T honey

3) Pour liquids into dry ingredients and mix on low for about 1 minute and then on medium-low for about 10 minutes (I mix for a bit less if using wheat flour).

4) Remove dough and knead by hand for 1 minute and then put dough into a greased bowl (make sure you cover bowl with saran wrap) and let rise about
1 1/2 hours (or until doubled in size).

5) Remove dough and knead by hand for 1 minute. Form dough into desired shape and place in bread pan to let rise for another 45 min - 1 hr. Again, keep covered in saran wrap. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place small pan of boiling water in oven and keep it there while bread is baking.

6) Spread top of dough with 1 T melted butter and then place in oven to bake for about 40 min. or until golden brown on top (sometimes I take it out a bit earlier).

7) Wait for it to cool to cut (or not) and enjoy!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pizza Possibilities

We have an obsession with making pizza at our house. It's just so quick and easy - and a classic, everyone-loves-it dish! But, even classics need a little shake up. My friend gave me a list from a ward cookbook of some uncommon, but appealing toppings that I wanted to share. Here are the ones that sounded the best to me:

Ham, pineapple, dried cherries, Mozzarella

Asparagus, broccoli, summer squash, peas, Mozzarella, white Cheddar, tomatoes

Avocado, Parmesan, tomato, sweet onion

Barbecued chicken, Mozzarella, smoked Gouda, sweet red onion, cilantro

Bacon, tomato, lettuce

Refried beans, shredded or ground beef, green chilies, salsa, cilantro, olives

Onions, cheese

Ham, peas, tomatoes, Mozzarella

Chicken, sweet onions, mushrooms, walnuts, Gorgonzola cheese

Artichoke hearts, cooled spinach, mild onion, tomatoes, Ricotta cheese, Mozzarella

Smoked salmon, sour cream, dill, onion

Bratwurst, onion, apple, Cheddar, Mozzarella (no sauce)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Foil Pack Chicken Fajita Dinner

From Kraft Foods

Super easy meal you can throw together ahead of time and refrigerate.

1-1/2 cups instant white rice, uncooked
1-1/2 cups hot water
1 Tbsp. TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Taco Seasoning Mix
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
1 each green and red pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup TACO BELL® HOME ORIGINALS® Thick 'N Chunky Salsa
1/2 cup KRAFT Mexican Style Finely Shredded Taco Cheese

HEAT oven to 400ºF.

FOLD up all sides of each of 4 large sheets of heavy-duty foil to form 1-inch rim; spray with cooking spray. Combine rice, water and taco seasoning; spoon onto foil. Top with remaining ingredients.

BRING up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to seal each packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Place in 15x10x1-inch pan.

BAKE 30 to 35 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF). Let stand 5 min. Cut slits in foil to release steam before opening packets.

Rice with Summer Squash

from Healthy Cooking


1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 medium yellow summer squash, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped


In a saucepan coated with cooking spray, cook carrots and onion in butter until tender. Stir in the broth, rice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 13 minutes.

Stir in the yellow squash and zucchini. Cover and simmer 6-10 minutes longer or until rice and vegetables are tender. Yield: 4 servings.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chicken Fried Rice

1 cup diced cooked chicken
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup uncooked rice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
2 slightly beaten eggs
1 cup finely shredded lettuce

Combine chicken, soy sauce and salt.  Cook rice in hot oil over medium heat until golden brown.  Reduce heat, add chicken mixture to rice and add broth.  Simmer, covered for 20-25 minutes.  Remove cover the last few minutes and stir in onion, green pepper and celery.  Cook uncovered over medium heat until liquid is absorbed.  Push rice mixture to sides, add eggs in middle and cook until almost set, then blend into rice.  Stir in lettuce and serve with soy sauce.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Star Spangled Fruit Tart

From Taste of Home

Here's what I am going to make for our BBQs tomorrow. I might make them individual sized though, I haven't decided. Anyways it looks like a pretty easy yummy idea so I thought I'd share. Have a happy 4th!

1 tube (18 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough, softened
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup halved fresh strawberries

Press cookie dough onto an ungreased 12-in. pizza pan. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and extract until smooth. Spread over crust. In center of tart, arrange berries in the shape of a star; add a berry border. Refrigerate until serving. Yield: 16 servings.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lettuce Wraps

1/2 lb. ground chicken or turkey (I have always used ground turkey and it is fabulous!)
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce (found in the Asian aisle)
2 tsp. brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. soy sauce
5 - 10 drops red pepper sauce (Tabasco)
2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 head iceberg lettuce, separated into lettuce cups

In a large skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, saute chicken/turkey over medium heat until no longer pink.  Pour into dish; set aside.  Rinse pan; spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Saute bell pepper, onion, garlic and ginger for 2 minutes.  Add meat.  In a bowl, blend lemon juice, hoisin sauce, sugar, oil, soy sauce and pepper sauce.  Pour into pan; stir to coat chicken/turkey.  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring until sauce is absorbed, about 4 minutes.  Stir in cilantro.  Serve with lettuce cups. (optional, rice)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chinese Chicken Salad

There's nothing really special about this, but its really easy and delicious.

1 head romaine lettuce
1 can chicken (i get mine from costco)
1 can mandarin oranges
1 package top roman noodles
green onion (i use about 4-5)
Chinese chicken salad dressing (my favorite is Girards)
Wash and cut up the romaine lettuce, dump the can of drained shredded chicken in, dump the can of drained mandarine oranges in, cut up the green onions, smash the noodles then toast on the stove top (wait till they are cool to dump in), mix all together and add dressing.  Voila! Your done!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Homemade Macaroni & Cheese


  • 2 cups elbow pasta, cooked until almost al dente (it should still be a little hard, because it'll soften up when it's baked and you don't want to end up with mushy noodles)
  • 16 ounces Cheddar cheese, 1/2 cubed, 1/2 shredded
  • 8 ounces Monterey pepper jack cheese, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 4 slices bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss together pasta with the cheese cubes and pour into the baking dish.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dry mustard, nutmeg and sour cream, egg, heavy cream and half-and-half. Pour over the pasta and cover with shredded Cheddar. Bake uncovered until top is just beginning to brown, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the bread into crouton-sized squares. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter, add cubes and toast until golden.

Sprinkle the bread cubes on top of the macaroni and cheese and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes more.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Garlic Butter

I saw the 'go-to' question and will try to answer it, but in the meantime I wanted to post this recipe. 

Last night we had a BBQ with some friends, we grilled Lemon-Rosemary Chicken and corn in their husks, then slathered this garlic butter on top of the corn. Soooo good. 

Garlic Butter

2 sticks butter
8 cloves garlic 
1/4 serrano chile, deseeded and finely chopped (if you're not familiar with these, like I was, they're in the produce section, and cost like nothing)
1/4 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped
salt and pepper
dash chili powder

Combine all in food processor or blender. Tastes great on corn or garlic bread. It makes a lot so I cut it in half. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ribbon Ice Cream Pie

The combinations you could try are endless. Yum.


    • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
    • 1 ready-to-fill chocolate cookie crust
    • 1 pint reduced-fat Dutch chocolate ice cream
    • 1 pint strawberry ice cream
    • 1/4 cup fudge sauce
    • Garnish: strawberries


    Place 1 pint vanilla ice cream in large bowl; stir until smooth but not melted. Spread into bottom of a ready-to-fill chocolate cookie crust. Freeze 30 minutes until just firm. Repeat as above with 1 pint reduced-fat Dutch chocolate ice cream, then 1 pint strawberry ice cream. Cover and freeze until firm. Before serving, slightly warm 1/4 cup fudge sauce in microwave. Drizzle over pie; garnish with strawberries.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lewis Family 'go to' Meal

Speedy Asian Stir Fry

1 cup Kraft Asian Sesame dressing
Angel hair pasta
2 chicken breast, chopped or sliced
1 cup broccoli
1/2 tsp of each: Red pepper flakes, ginger, garlic powder
1 Tbs soy sauce

Cook Angel hair pasta according to package directions, add chopped broccoli for the last 3 min of cooking time.

Meanwhile in a saucepan use cooking spray and cook chicken through. Then add remaining ingredients. Let simmer for a minuet, then toss in pasta and broccoli mixture.... YUMMO and oh so easy PEAsy! You could add other veggi's if they cook quickly like broccoli, I have also made with sliced beef. You can add more or less red pepper flakes depending on how spicy you like your food!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cheesy Beef Stroganoff

A cheap, easy dinner from Kraft Foods.
I didn't actually do the Velveeta cheese; I just threw in a little bit of shredded cheese I had in the fridge.

1 lb. ground beef
2 cups water
3 cups medium egg noodles, uncooked
1/2 lb. (8 oz.) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 tsp. black pepper

BROWN meat in large skillet; drain.

STIR in water; bring to boil. Stir in noodles; cover. Simmer on medium-low heat 8 min. or until noodles are tender.

ADD VELVEETA, soup and pepper; cook until VELVEETA is melted, stirring frequently.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Your "Go To" Meal

I thought I'd throw a question out there today:

What is your "go to" meal when you are taking in dinner to someone?


What is your "go to" meal when you are busy and don't have much time to cook?

Please share. I'm looking for some new ideas.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sicilian Pizza

Tim makes fun of me a lot for having an authentic Sicilian family and never actually cooking Italian food, so for his last birthday I folded and made my dad's pizza. I'll do my best to give his cooking instructions, which often sound like, "Just a little of this, not too much" with never giving an exact amount.


  • Refrigerated pizza dough (you can get this from any quality Italian market - it comes in a bag with just the right amount for one pizza, or you can use frozen bread dough, but you need to let the dough thaw out on your counter overnight after you rub it with some olive oil and cover it with saran wrap, one loaf = one pizza)
  • 1 Italian sausage link (since you can use such a small amount, I recommend you go for the good stuff and get a link from the deli, or an Italian market)
  • Pizza sauce (again, quality is key here, don't go cheap)
  • Grated Romano cheese
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • mushrooms, bell peppers, olives, whatever else you like on your pizza
  • sliced green onions, sounds weird, but it's good
  • dried oregano

  1. If you're using the refrigerated dough, you need to set the dough out and let it rise and get to room temperature. It won't rise a ton, but it will rise. As my dad says, "You want it to get warm, but not too warm." Basically, you want it at room temp. Leave it out for an hour or so.
  2. I make pizza on the Silpat, which I highly recommend. Some people use the pizza stone. The nice thing about the Silpat is it's non-stick, so you'll have to figure out a way to make whatever you're using a non-stick surface. Some olive oil and cornstarch should do the trick on a cookie sheet.
  3. Put about a teaspoon of olive oil on the dough to help work it out. I don't roll mine, I just push it out with my fingers. Dad says, "Not too thin, not too thick." If you're using a cookie sheet it will probably go to just about the edges of the sheet. You can make the crust as thick or thin as you want.
  4. Sprinkle oregano on dough, then press it in. Dad says this is the most important part.
  5. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce over the dough.
  6. Cut the skin off of the sausage and put very small pieces of sausage all over the dough. Make sure the pieces are small so they'll cook through.
  7. Add your toppings however you want. The cheeses are probably the most important, you can just do parmesan but I like the Romano as well.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.
I probably made it sound more complicated then necessary, but once you get it down it's super quick and tasty. One pizza serves about 3 people, if we're being realistic.

Australian Pavlova

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 6 kiwi, peeled and sliced


  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9 inch circle on the parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gradually add in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat until thick and glossy. Overbeaten egg whites lose volume and deflate when folded into other ingredients. Be absolutely sure not a particle of grease or egg yolk gets into the whites. Gently fold in vanilla extract, lemon juice and cornstarch.
  3. Spoon mixture inside the circle drawn on the parchment paper. Working from the center, spread mixture toward the outside edge, building edge slightly. This should leave a slight depression in the center.
  4. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. Remove the paper, and place meringue on a flat serving plate. Fill the center of the meringue with whipped cream, sweetened if desired. Top whipped cream with kiwifruit slices.
Tim made this for me for Mother's Day, and it was amazing. He used less kiwi and food processed some strawberries and kiwi (lightly so they didn't turn into soup) and added raspberries. We have one of these amazing things called a Silpat - we love them, they're $25 from Williams-Sonoma but worth it. He eyeballed the circle and baked the meringue on the Silpat with a little cornstarch underneath.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

coconut Buttermilk syrup

I don't have the recipe yet... but I tried it last night and about died! It was SO yummy on waffles with whipped cream and strawberries! Mmmm... dreaming about it!

I will bless you with this recipe when I get it. :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins

 I loooove recipes that are easy and taste great the first time around. These were just that, and my husband and I loved how they turned out. 

Recipe taken from thegoodapple.blogspot.com.

  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 cups buttermilk 
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter or oil
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour 
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
In a bowl, soak the oats in buttermilk for 15 minutes.  Stir in eggs, sugars, and butter (or oil).  In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir into oat mixture just until moistened. (don't over mix)  Fill paper lined muffin cups 1/2 to 3/4 full.  Bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

I used all white whole wheat flour instead of half white/half wheat, and they were great. I also used the substitution for buttermilk of adding lemon juice to the milk.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Annie's Eats

I stumbled across this cute little blog, Annie's Eats, that has some delicious looking desserts. I didn't even check out the other recipes because I was too busy drooling over these yummy looking creations. Let me know if you try any of the recipes out (or better yet, bring some over to share)!

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes
Recipe Here

Oatmeal Raisin Sandwich Cookies
Recipe Here

Peanut Butter Cup Surprise Cookies
Recipe Here

Black and White Rice Krispies
Recipe Here

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Veggie Stuffed Twice Baked Potato Boats

Here's a little bit healthier take on twice baked potatoes. i simplified it down some and just used frozen veggies and they were still pretty yummy. I think you are probably supposed to cut them the other direction, but I was feeling creative. I think they look like cute little potato cupcakes :) 

Recipe by Cat Cora
found on Oprah.com/recipe/food
Ingredients:Serves 4

4 well-cleaned potatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup grated low-fat cheese , such as sharp cheddar or Parmesan
1 tsp. Italian herb seasoning
1/2 cup frozen broccoli florets
1/2 cup shelled frozen peas , thawed
1/2 cup sliced frozen carrots , thawed
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp. chopped olives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 slices turkey bacon , cooked until crispy and crumbled
Preheat oven to 350°. Bake the potatoes for 1 hour. Remove and let cool until able to handle. Cut each in half and scoop out the insides to create "boats."

In a large bowl, mix the insides of the potatoes with the butter or olive oil, grated cheese and herbs, and stir until combined. Stir in all veggies, season to taste with salt and pepper and scoop mixture back into each potato half.

Pop back into oven and cook for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted. Top with salsa or crumbled turkey bacon if desired, or enjoy straight from oven, serving 2 potato boats per person.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

BBQ Chicken Salad with Cilantro Ranch Dressing

I think this one came from favorite family recipes (link on side) but i can't remember for sure. Next time I would add some of those thin tortilla chip strips to make it more like CPK's version.

3 cups thinly sliced green leaf lettuce
1 cup corn
1 cup black beans
8 grape tomatoes, halved
1 cooked grilled chicken breast
1 cup favorite BBQ sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup prepared ranch dressing
1 heaping tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro leaves

Place lettuce into a salad bowl. Layer with corn, black beans, and tomatoes. Dice cooked chicken breast and mix with BBQ sauce. Top over salad and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Place ranch dressing and cilantro leaves into a small bowl to combine. Drizzle over salad and serve.

**This recipe is for 1 large serving, double accordingly**

Argentine Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

from Viking Home Chefs

Serves 4

1 (packed) cup fresh cilantro
1/4 (packed) cup fresh oregano
1 (packed) cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, or to taste
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 (1 1/4 pound) skirt steak

1. Combine the herbs, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in the work bowl of a food processor; pulse to combine. With the motor running, add the vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil, and process to make a thick, pureed sauce with some texture. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and vinegar. The chimichurri should be highly seasoned.*

2. Place the skirt steak in a large, plastic ziplock bag, and pour in about one-third cup of the chimichurri. (Note: reserve the remaining chimichurri to use as sauce). Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight, turning occasionally.
3. Remove the steak from the marinade, and discard. Shake off the excess, then pat dry with paper towel; allow to come to room temperature for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Clean the grates with a stiff brush, then oil liberally to prevent sticking. (Note: to use a grill pan, preheat an oiled grill pan to medium high heat).

5. Using tongs, place the steak onto the hot oiled grill and cook for about 2 minutes. Without turning the steak, rotate it 90 degrees and continue cooking until the meat is seared and crusty on the outside, about 1 to 2 minutes more; this will produce beautiful cross-hatch grill marks. Flip the steak over and repeat the process for the second side. For best results, cook to medium-rare (knternal temperature 130 to 135 degrees)

6. Transfer the steak to a clean cutting board, and tent loosely with aluminum foil; set aside to rest for at least 5 to 10 minutes. when ready to serve, slice the steak across the grain on the diagonal into thin slices. Spoon some of the reserved Chimichurri sauce across the middle of the steak slices, and serve immediately.

Argentine Empanada Dough

from Viking Home Chefs

This recipe makes 12 (5 inch) shells. The empanada filling makes enough for 24 shells so plan accordingly.

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, frozen, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 stick chilled unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water*

1. place the flour and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade attachment. Pulse a few times to combine. Remove the top of the processor and scatter the pieces of shortening and butter over the flour mixture. Being very careful to avoid the blade of the processor, use a fork to toss the cubes to coat them lightly with the flour mixture. Replace the top of the processor and pulse 12 to 15 times, holding each pulse for one second. The mixture should resemble a coarse meal with some pea-size butter lumps.

2. Add 1/3 cup water and pulse 2 to 3 times. Pinch a small amount of the dough with your fingers to see that it holds together. If the dough does not hold together, add more water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, pulsing until incorporated; then test the mixture again. (Note: the mixture will be in particles and will not hold together without being pressed together)

3. Turn the dough out onto a silicone mat, and divide into two equal portions. Place half of the dough mixture on a large square of plastic wrap; pull up the sides of the plastic wrap and twist, forcing the dough together. With the heels of your hands press the mixture together until the dough forms one piece. Flatten into a disk and wrap well in plastic wrap; repeat with the remaining dough. Refrigerate the dough disks until firm, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

4. Before rolling out, remove the disks from the refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes to soften.

* Add ice to a measuring cup of water, and set aside. When you are ready to add water to the recipe, strain and measure the amount needed.

Make It Ahead: The dough can be tightly covered with plastic wrap, placed in a freezer ziplock bag, and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw the dough completely in the fridge overnight. Never defrost pie dough in a microwave.

Argentine Empanada Filling

This is from a Viking Home Chef class we went to. I am posting this mainly for myself so I don't lose the recipe. It's a lot of work but quite tasty!

1/2 pound ground chuck (no less than 20 percent fat)
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, stem, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 3/4 tsp. each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup currants (or raisins), rehydrated*
1 1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 green onions, green tops only, very finely sliced
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, finely chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped
1 recipe Empanada Dough (or purchase pre-made empanada shells)**

1. In a large saute pan, cook the beef over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a bowl and set aside until needed. (Note: do not remove the drippings from the pan!)

2. Place the same pan with the beef drippings back over medium-high heat; add the oil, and heat through. Stir in the onions, cook until soft and translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and cook 1 minute more.

3. Add the water, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the beef back to the pain; stir in the currants, vinegar, parsley, green onions, olives, and boiled eggs. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper (Note: the filling should be extremely flavorful- almost over the top, as the pastry will minimize the filling flavors). Set aside to cool completely before stuffing the empanadas.

4. On a silicone mat, roll one dough disk into a circle that is about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 5-inch round cutter, cut out as many circles as is possible without overlapping. Place a couple of sheets of parchment paper on your work surface, and transfer the dough circles to the parchment in a single even layer; do not allow the circles to touch, or they might stick. Re-roll the scrap dough, and cut out more circles- placing on the parchment as you make them. Repeat with the remaining dough until all of the empanada shells are formed. (Note: if not using immediately, cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to stuff. If using pre-made empanada shells, skip step 4 and move on to step 5).

5. Place a heaping tablespoonful of filling in the center of each circle, leaving a 1/2 inch border around the filling. Moisten the border with a finger dipped in warm water. Fold the empanada in half to make a turnover, then firmly press the edges together to seal. Crimp in 1/4 inch sections with your thumb and forefinger, folding the dough back over itself each time to form a rope-like pattern around the edges. Preheat oven to 400.

6. Place the empanadas on an oiled baking sheet at least 2 inches apart, and cook until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately. (Note: these are delicious served with chimichurri sauce!)

*Cover the currants (or raisins) with simmering water; allow to stand until plump and moist, about 10 to 20 minutes. Drain well, then proceed with recipe.

**Purchase empanada shells at your local Spanish or South American market. The preferred brand is Blancaflor Empanada Shells/Flaky Oven Dough, which provides an incredibly flaky, tender product. Some other brands we tested baked to a hard, dry consistency.

Make it ahead: The filling may be made up to 3 days in advance and stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator until needed. Or, the filling may be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and drain well before using.

Cake Batter Cookies- So Many Options!

So these aren't anything fancy, but when it's 8 or 9:00 and I'm ready to watch American Idol with a yummy treat this is a quick option that hits the spot. And if you stock up on cake mixes when they are on sale for 88 cents at the store it's a cheap way to go. Although this might be where the extra pregnancy pounds are coming from...

So you can use any cake batter to make a cookie using the general recipe of

1 cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil

Then pop 'em in the oven at 350 for about 9 minutes.

I mainly use devils food cake mix but I've also tried yellow cake mix and funfetti. Then I like to get creative with marshmallows on top, different frostings, roll them in sugar or powdered sugar, candy rolled inside (this is the base recipe for Rolo cookies), or last week I threw some extra chocolate chip cookie dough in.

Yum Yum Banana Bread

This one comes from Chris's side of the family. I was never a big banana bread person until I tried my mother-in-law's, it's so moist and tasty!

1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 ripe bananas

Stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Beat the sugar and shortening. Add eggs one at a time. Add milk. Add flour and banana alternately. Grease pan. Bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes (mine usually is done after 45 minutes).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chicken Pizzettes With Vegetables

I wouldn't say these are like, the best things I've ever had in my life, but they were pretty good for a really quick and easy, semi-nutritious, kid friendly lunch or dinner. The husband thought they'd be better with salsa or a different sauce...you could play around with it.

Recipe created by Robin Miller
Found on Oprah.com

Ingredients:Serves 4

1 package chicken nuggets or tenders
4 whole wheat flour tortillas , taco size
3/4 cup prepared pizza sauce or pasta sauce , regular or reduced sodium
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups mixed, chopped vegetables, such as broccoli florets and mushrooms and bell peppers and onions and zucchini and pitted olives and baby spinach leaves
4 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried oregano , optional
Preheat the oven to 400º. Arrange chicken nuggets on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.

Remove chicken nuggets from the oven and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.

Arrange tortillas on a flat surface. Top each tortilla with 3 tablespoons of the pizza sauce.

Top the sauce with mozzarella cheese (1/4 cup per tortilla). Top the cheese with the chicken nugget pieces and any combination of vegetables.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and oregano (if using) over top.

Transfer pizzettes to baking sheets and bake 5 to 7 minutes, until cheese melts and tortilla is golden brown.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Poppyseed Bundt Cake

My roommate would make this all the time, and I would eat like half of it each time. I'm sure she loved that. I'm so glad to finally get the recipe so I can make it myself now.

Mix together:
4 eggs
1 c plain or vanilla yogurt
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 small box instant vanilla pudding

1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 c water
1/3 c poppyseeds

Pour into greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until top is golden. Cool completely before removing from the pan. Recommended that you then allow it to sit 15 minutes before cutting.