Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Crockpot Chunky & Cheesy Potatoes

This is a chunky version of funeral potatoes and it went very well with mesquite marinated pork tenderloin tonight. I think deep down everyone liked it, but the 2 and 5 year olds feigned disinterest... However my hubby couldn't get enough of these potatoes.

Crockpot Chunky & Cheesy Potatoes

6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch strips
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella because that's what I had on hand)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 small onion, chopped fine
7 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
2 cups seasoned croutons, crushed

Cut the potatoes into 1/4 inch strips, placing potato pieces into a big bowl of water as you cut them so they don't go brown on you. Once all potatoes are cut, drain them well and toss them with the shredded cheese and chopped onion. Place potato mixture into a greased crockpot. Combine soup, 4 tablespoons of butter (chopped into small pieces), salt and pepper; pour over the potatoes in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Stir 1 cup of sour cream into the potatoes and dump potatoes into a greased 9x13 baking dish. Combine crushed croutons and remaining 3 tablespoons of butter (melted) in a small bowl and sprinkle over potatoes. Bake uncovered in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes, just to brown the bread crumbs.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Spice Cake Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is such a great, easy cookie recipe! I got this recipe from my friend Mendy and I use it all the time - tonight we had them for our FHE treat. And BTW I was told that they are only 1 point in the Weight Watchers plan, isn't that cool! A healthy, super easy, and yummy cookie is a total winner in my book!!

Spice Cake Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 box spice cake mix (+ 1/4 cup flour for high altitude)
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
1 - 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used mini chips tonight)

Mix together cake mix (just the powdered cake mix) and pumpkin in a mixer. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets and bake at 350 for 10 minutes (it ended up being 15 minutes for me, but I think it's the altitude).

Chicken Noodle Soup

I've been making some version of this chicken noodle soup since I was teenager. The original recipe came from one of those grocery store check-out aisle Pillsbury pamphlet cookbooks, but over the years I've changed the recipe so much that it doesn't even resemble the original and I think the flavor has improved a ton. Really I think it is sauteing the raw vegetables that makes it yummy - everything tastes better with butter, right?!

Chicken Noodle Soup

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced (I always try to include the leaves from the heart of the celery for more flavor)
kosher salt
3 boxes of chicken broth (the 32 oz size)
2 cups frozen veggie mixture (I always use the one w/ peas, carrots, green beans and corn)
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken from Costco)
1 teaspoon onion salt
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
3 chicken bouillon cubes, crushed
2 cups dry noodles (what ever kind you like - I usually use egg noodles or rotini pasta)
2 1/2 tablespoons Ultra Gel (or 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed with water)

Melt the butter in a pot. Saute onions, carrots, and celery in butter and sprinkle with kosher salt to season them. Cook until vegetables are tender and onions are translucent. Pour in the broth. Add frozen veggies, chicken, onion salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, and crushed chicken bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil and add noodles. Cook at medium temp for about 10 minutes and check broth to see if it is seasoned to your taste - adding more salt or pepper as needed. Whisk in the Ultra Gel or cornstarch mixture and let simmer for at least 10 more minutes.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Turkey Meatloaf

Everyone liked this tonight. It is a healthier version of your typical meatloaf and has a hint of stuffing flavor because of the thyme and bread crumbs. It was also very moist, which is sometimes a hard thing to achieve with turkey.

Turkey Meatloaf

1 large onion, chopped fine
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 lbs ground turkey
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 325. In a skillet, saute onion in oil and butter till translucent, but not browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl combine turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, thyme, chicken stock, and the onions. Mix well. Shape into a loaf on an ungreased cookie sheet (I used my stoneware jelly roll pan). Spread ketchup on top of meatloaf. Place in oven. Place a pan of water on the bottom rack (this helps to make the meatloaf moister). Bake for 1 hour at 325. Then turn heat up to 350 and bake another 1/2 hour. Internal temp of meatloaf should read 160 degrees before it is done. When done place meatloaf on a platter and let sit for 5 - 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with turkey gravy.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Chocolate Delight

Okay, this is good! I know I say that a lot about recipes on here, but seriously. This. Is. Good. Mmmm, it is almost like a chocolate pie and it's super easy to make. (The picture really doesn't do it justice.) I got this recipe from my sister-in-law Dore. Thanks for another great one Dore!! We had this for dessert yesterday and everyone gobbled it up.

Chocolate Delight

1 cup flour
1 stick cold butter
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (walnuts are good)

Cut butter into flour and nuts until well combined and mixture resembles small peas. Press into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Cool.

1st Layer:
1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup Cool Whip

Mix well with an electric mixer and spread onto the cooled crust.

2nd Layer:
1 (3 oz) box chocolate instant pudding
1 (3 oz) box vanilla instant pudding
3 cups milk

Combine pudding mixes and milk and beat for about 3 minutes. Pour onto the cream cheese layer. Place a layer of plastic wrap over and touching pudding so a film doesn't form and refrigerate until pudding is firm - a couple hours.

Cool Whip
chopped nuts (optional)
chocolate shavings are mini chocolate chips

Spread Cool Whip to cover the pudding layer and sprinkle with nuts (if desired) and chocolate shavings or mini chips.

Shepherds Pie

This recipe is from a friend, Vanessa, in Maryland. We had it last night as the main dish for our Christmas dinner - you know shepherds... It just seems like a good Christmas food. I also made this dish for a Harry Potter get-away that I went on with a bunch of friends to read the last Harry Potter book - I called it Mrs. Weasley's Shepherds Pie. When ever I make this yummy dish I think of that awesome weekend!

Shepherds Pie

2 pounds ground beef
2 small-medium onions, chopped fine
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup frozen peas
2 packets of brown gravy mix
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
13.75 oz box Betty Crocker Potato Buds (prepared according to pkg directions)

In a large skillet brown the beef, break up the beef so there are no large lumps remaining. When most of the pink is gone, add onion and celery and cook until veggies are soft and translucent. Add peas. Let cook 3-4 minutes to thaw peas.

In a bowl mix the gravy powder with 1/2 cup water until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cup hot water to gravy and stir. Stirring continuously, pour gravy over the beef, stirring until gravy thickens so it doesn't stick to bottom of pan. Add salt and pepper. Transfer beef to a 9x13 or 11x17 pan (I use the bigger pan because in a 9x13 you tend to get some of the sauce boiling over).

Prepare mashed potatoes according to package directions, carefully spread over the beef as you would a thick layer of frosting. Dust lightly with paprika to give it a nice color. Cover loosely with foil (I spray the foil with Pam so it doesn't stick to the mashed potatoes) and bake in a 350 degree oven until warmed through - about 25 minutes.

Quick Carrots

This was the veggie side dish for our Christmas dinner. This recipe is from the Lion House Lite cookbook and I've used it for years - even if you don't like cooked carrots really give this one a try. The carrots are savory and almost sweet at the same time - so good!!

Quick Carrots

4 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons sliced green onions
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine carrots, butter, green onions, water and salt in a saucepan. Cover and simmer stirring occasionally for 10 - 15 minutes or until carrots are tender. May need to add another tablespoon or so of water as it is cooking.

Julie's Jello Salad

This is my sister's jello salad recipe (its the red stuff at the 6 o'clock position on the dinner plate). It would not be a family gathering with out this yummy jello/strawberry/sour cream creation. I made this for our Christmas dinner last night, but with just the 5 of us we barely made a dent in it - we'll be having jello salad with every dinner for days.:)

Julie's Jello Salad

2 small boxes strawberry Jello (3 oz each)
2 tubs frozen sliced and sweetened strawberries, thawed
20 oz. can crushed pineapple
16 oz. container sour cream
2 bananas, smooshed with a fork
1 1/2 cups boiling water

Boil water, dissolve Jello in water. Turn down heat and add strawberries with juices. Turn off heat. Add drained pineapple and bananas and stir. Pour half of the mixture into a 9x13 glass baking dish and leave the other half sitting out at room temp. Put the 9x13 into the fridge and allow to set for 3 hours. Spread sour cream over the set up jello and pour remaining half of jello mixture over the sour cream. Allow to set again in fridge for 3 hours.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese Soup

We had this on Christmas Eve with wheat dinner rolls and everyone loved it. I kind of combined 2 recipes to make this one up and added a couple of things so I was very happy when it actually turned out. I'll definitely be making this again.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese Soup

4 cups water
5 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 cup onion, very finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 cups fresh cauliflower florets
1/4 cup flour
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon pepper
8 oz Velveeta, cubed
3 tablespoons Ultra Gel (or you could use 1 1/2 T cornstarch mixed with some water)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a stock pot saute the onion in 2 tablespoons butter until translucent, but not browned. Add water, bouillon cubes, broccoli, and cauliflower. Bring to a boil and let vegetables cook.

While vegetables boil, in a saucepan melt 4 tablespoons butter, add flour and stir till smooth. Add the 2 cups of cream slowly, stirring constantly till slightly thickened - don't heat too far or the roux will break. Remove from heat and add garlic salt and pepper. Add roux to the stockpot with cooked veggies. Add Velveeta and cook till vegetables break up (I used a potato masher to mash them up more - my kids like it better that way). Add Ultra Gel or cornstarch and cook for about 7 minutes. Add the shredded cheddar and stir thoroughly. Serve.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Finnish Ribbon Cookies

Last night for FHE we had our annual Finnish ribbon cookie making. I'm half Finnish and after having children decided that it would be neat to celebrate that heritage by making these traditional Finnish holiday cookies with my family every Christmas. It is an absolutely delicious shortbread like cookie with jam and a sugar glaze. Mmmm.... We've heard that this is Santa and Mrs. Claus' favorite cookie.:)

Finnish Ribbon Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 1/2 cups flour (+ 1/8 cup for high altitude)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons raspberry jam
2 cups powdered sugar mixed with 4 tablespoons hot water (enough water to give it a runny consistency)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy; beat in egg yolk, vanilla and lemon zest. In another bowl, stir together flour and salt. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, blending thoroughly. (I always do the last bit by hand, just to get all the flour worked in.)

Shape dough into ropes about 3/4" in diameter and as long as your baking sheets; place them about 2" apart on ungreased baking sheets. With the side of your little finger, press a long groove down the center of each rope (don't press all the way down to baking sheets - the cookies will fall apart). Bake the cookies in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven and spoon jam into the grooves. Return to oven for 5-7 minutes or until cookies are firm to touch and a very light golden brown on edges. While cookies are hot, drizzle them with powdered sugar mixture. Then with a very sharp paring knife cut the cookies at a 45 degree angle into 1" lengths. Let cool briefly on baking sheets, then transfer to racks and let cool completely. Store airtight.

Lazy Lasagna

This is a great freezer meal. I got the recipe from Melanie who was a member of a freezer meal group that I was part of. I got so many great recipes from that group and this one is now a staple in our house - very kid pleasing.

Lazy Lasagna

3 cups uncooked penne pasta
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup very finely chopped or grated carrots
1 jar pasta sauce (24 oz)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
16 oz cottage cheese (4% milk fat works bests for texture and creaminess)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg

In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until tender but firm, drain. Toss with olive oil. Set aside.

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium high heat until browned. Add onions and carrots, cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce and Italian seasoning. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a bowl combine cottage cheese, egg, and 1 cup mozzarella, set aside.

Spread 1/2 of the meat mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Top with all of the pasta. Spread all of the cheese mixture over pasta. Top with remaining meat mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour, uncover and bake another 2-3 minutes.

Freezing instructions:
You can either make 1 9x13 or 2 8x8 pans of this. (I always use disposable foil pans for freezer meals.) Prepare as instructed above right up till the baking part. Cover with plastic wrap then foil and freeze.

Cooking Instructions:
Thaw in fridge for at least a full day (takes a while). Remove plastic wrap and foil, recover loosely with foil and bake for 1 hour at 350. If baking from frozen it will take at least 2 hours and up to 2 1/2 hours.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Zucchini Bread

I served this tonight with the chicken ramen stir-fry as an incentive for my children to eat all the vegetables in the stir fry. It worked.:)

Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 cup oil (I used canola)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 cups flour (+ 1/4 cup for high altitude)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups grated zucchini
3 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 375. In a mixer combine eggs, sugars and oil and beat till well combined. In a bowl mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in the mixer. Add zucchini and vanilla. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Poppy Seed Chicken

I got this recipe from a neighbor when we lived in Cedar Hills. She and her husband did a lot of camping and this was one of her favorite dutch oven recipes. Now I've never made this in a dutch oven (not a camper myself), but it's super yummy as a regular old casserole.

Poppy Seed Chicken

1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 teaspoons poppy seeds
3 cups cooked and cubed chicken
1 stack Ritz crackers, crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted

Combine sour cream, soup, and poppy seeds in a bowl. Stir in chicken and pour into a greased 8.5 x 11 baking dish (9x13 is too big for this casserole).Combine cracker crumbs and butter and sprinkle over the top. Bake uncovered at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fudgy Bon Bons

We're giving these to the neighbors this year for Christmas. They are so very yummy - it figures because the recipe is from a sister in our last ward, Jill, who makes the BEST desserts. She makes the best mint brownies in the world and these bon bon cookies are awesome too!

Fudgy Bon Bons

1, 12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 bag Hershey Kisses
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

To make the dough: melt butter and chocolate chips in a saucepan. Turn off the heat. Add sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and flour. Wrap a teaspoon of the dough around each kiss and bake at 350 for 7 minutes. They will look shiny, but they are done. Let them cool. Put on platter. Melt white chocolate chips and oil, drizzle over the top of bon bons.


On Fridays we have breakfast for dinner and quiche was on the menu a couple days ago. I really like this quiche - it's so easy and good and 3 out of the 5 of us liked it. (Nina and Sophie were the dissenters, but honestly Nina was in a fussy mood - on a good day I think she would have ate it.)


6 slices of bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/3 cup finely sliced green onion or finely chopped onion
4 eggs
2 cups half and half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 baked pie crust (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 325. Mix together cheese, bacon, and onion and spread evenly in the baked pie crust. In a medium bowl beat eggs slightly; beat in remaining ingredients. Pour into the pie crust. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Baked Pie Crust for Quiche (this is for a 10" pie crust)
-thanks to Betty Crocker for this recipe :)

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut shortening into flour and salt until it resembles small peas. Sprinkle with water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl. Gather dough by hand into a ball. Shape into a flattened round. Roll out on a floured surface, dusting with flour as needed. Roll pastry into a 12" round (or 2 inches more than the pie plate you are using). Fold pastry into fourths and place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and sides. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch away from the rim. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate and flute edges or press with the prongs of a fork. Prick bottom and sides of the crust thoroughly with a fork. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until golden.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Roasted Red Potatoes

These potatoes were fantastic! We had them as a side dish with our "Ikea dinner" which is Swedish meatballs, Swedish meatball sauce (a packet mix from Ikea), red potatoes, and lingonberry preserves. I got the recipe from my friend Corinne (thanks!!). She said her whole family loved these potatoes and it worked for my family too - everyone had seconds. I'm sure I'll be making this recipes lots in the future.

Roasted Red Potatoes

red/new potatoes (I used 3 lbs)
butter (I used 4 tablespoons)
garlic, minced (I used 1 clove)
garlic salt (I used 1 teaspoon)
dry parsley (about 2 teaspoons)
dry thyme (about 1 teaspoon)
pepper (used a few good cranks of my pepper mill)

Take the potatoes and cut them into fourths lengthwise, then cut each forth into small triangles. Boil for 6 minutes. Drain and put back in pot. Add melted butter, garlic, garlic salt, parsley, thyme, and pepper. Spread onto a cookie sheet (I used my trusty stoneware jelly roll pan) and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes.

Crispy Parmesan Chicken Strips

This has been a staple in our house for a long time now and everyone loves it. The strips bake up so crispy in my stoneware jelly roll pan.

Crispy Parmesan Chicken Strips

1 1/2 cups seasoned croutons, crushed
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon water
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut lengthwise into fairly thin strips (I would probably say I cut them to less than an inch in width)
you favorite dipping sauces (we do ketchup, ranch dressing, honey mustard, and barbecue sauce)

Preheat oven to 450. In a bowl combine crouton crumbs, Parmesan, parsley and garlic salt. In another bowl beat egg whites with water. Dip each chicken strip in egg mixture and then dredge in the crumb mixture, you kind of need to press the crumbs into the chicken to make them stick. Bake on a cookie sheet (I use a stoneware jelly roll pan, as mentioned before) for 16 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with dipping sauces.

Creamy Parmesan Noodles

We had this side dish last night with Crispy Parmesan Chicken Strips in loo of the Pasta Roni mix that we usually have with them (did I just admit to that?). I thought it was good, the kids loved it, but my hubby thought it was too rich. Oh well, you can't win 'em all.

Creamy Parmesan Noodles

2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
8 oz angel hair pasta, strands snapped in half (that's 1/2 a 1 lb box)
1 pkt. Lipton dry chicken noodle soup mix
1 teaspoon dry parsley
3 Tablespoons chopped green onions or 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup finely grated good quality Parmesan cheese

Over med high heat, bring water and chicken broth to a boil. Add noodle soup mix, parsley, and angel hair pasta. Stirring frequently, cook until most of the cooking liquid is absorbed, but still juicy.

Remove from heat, stir in sour cream, green onions, and Parmesan. Mix well and let sit for about 5 minutes with the lid on.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Nutter Butter Santa Claus Cookies

Sophie has an Activity Days cookie exchange coming up, so this evening we made these cookies for it. Honestly it's more decorating than "making", but it's a very fun cookie to do with kids. Sophie loved dipping the cookies in the chocolate and putting the little faces on.

Nutter Butter Santa Claus Cookies

2 bags white chocolate chips (12 oz each)
1 pkg. (1 lb.) Nutter Butter sandwich cookies
red colored sugar
1 bag mini chocolate chips
32 red hot candies

Pour the chips from one bag of white chocolate chips into a bowl and microwave for 35 seconds. Stir and microwave for another 35 seconds. Repeat until chips are completely melted. Dip one end of each cookie into the melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Place on wax paper. For santa's hat, sprinkle red sugar on the top part of chocolate. Press one vanilla chip into the center of the hat for a pom pom, let stand until set.

Dip other end of each cookie into melted chocolate for beard, leaving the center of the cookie uncovered. Place on wire racks. With a dab of melted chocolate, attach mini chocolate chips for eyes and a red-hot for nose. Place on waxed paper until set. Makes 32 cookies.

Baby Porcupines

This recipe is from my Mom and when I was little I really thought they were baby porcupines!:) We all love these meatballs and tonight we had them with mashed potatoes and buttered peas. I don't think the recipe was ever really written down until a couple of months ago I took the time to really measure everything out. These amounts are the closest I could get to the right taste, but feel free to season to your own liking.

Baby Porcupines

2 lbs ground beef
1/2 of a sleeve of saltine crackers, crushed fine
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup Minute Rice
1 onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon garlic salt
black pepper (a few good cranks of the pepper mill)

Mix all of the ingredients together, kneading till everything is well incorporated. Form into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until meat is done all the way through (if you use a dark non-stick cookie sheet it takes less time). While baking make 4 packets of Schilling/McCormick brown gravy mixes. When meatballs are done put them into the gravy and serve with mashed or baked potatoes or over noodles.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Tonight was enchilada night, but this time I made them with whole wheat tortillas. The ww does change the texture a bit (the tortillas are a bit harder when baked then reg tortillas), but I thought it was good. Nina loved these which was a bit surprising for a 2 year old.:)

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

3-4 chicken breasts cooked and cubed, or the good meat from a rotisserie chicken cubed
2 cans cream of chicken soup (this is obviously not an authentic enchilada recipe)
1 can diced green chilies
2 cups sour cream
1 pkg. whole wheat tortillas (or regular tortillas)
shredded cheddar cheese

Mix soup, chilies, about 2 cups shredded cheese, and sour cream. Put a big dollop of sauce on a tortilla, add some chicken and roll up. Put in the bottom of a non-stick sprayed 9x13 and repeat till the pan is all filled up. Spread remaining sauce over tortillas. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered for about 5 minutes. Serve with salsa.

Beef Stroganoff

We had this the other night and I loved the sauce. Mmmm... Very yummy comfort food. I'm going to admit right now that it was not a hit with the kids, but they loved the noodles.:)

Beef Stroganoff

2 pounds beef chuck roast
a packet of beef marinade mix (plus the ingredients you need to make it) or 2 cans of Coke
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
a stick of butter
1/4 cup finely minced onion
4 tablespoons flour
1 (10.5 oz) can condensed beef broth
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup chicken or beef broth
ground black pepper to taste
cooked egg or other noodles

Remove any fat from roast and cut into strips 1/2 inch thick and 2 inches long. Place in a ziplock bag with the meat marinade or Coke and let marinate in the fridge for 4-5 hours.

Remove meat from marinade and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and brown the beef strips. When they are browned remove meat with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Set aside. In the butter and beef drippings cook the onion for 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in flour and pour in beef broth stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and add mustard. Add meat back into skillet and bring to a boil again. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender, stirring now and then.

Five minutes before serving stir in the mushrooms. Let them cook for a while then add sour cream and if it needs thinning up to 1/3 cup broth. Heat briefly and then adjust seasoning with pepper. Serve over noodles.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

This is the best pumpkin bread I've ever had and I was lucky enough to eat this at my friend Cami's house - you are a stellar cook Cami!! I'm making this today to make it feel more like fall even though the weather has been crazy warm. BTW you can make pumpkin muffins and mini muffins with this batter and I jotted down the times for both below.

Pumpkin Bread

3 cups canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups vegetable/canola oil
4 cups white sugar
6 eggs
4 3/4 cups all purpose flour (I use 5 cups for high altitude)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1 /2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 3 loaf pans ( or 2 loaf pans and 1 mini loaves stoneware pan).

In the bowl of a mixer combine pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs. Beat till mixed. In another bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Add the dry ingredients mixture to the pumpkin mixture and beat till combined. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the loaves should spring back when lightly pressed.

For Muffins:You can add mini or regular chocolate chips to batter. Use paper muffin cups or grease and flour muffin pan and bake for 22-25 minutes at 350.

For Mini Muffins: You can add mini or regular chocolate chips to batter. Use paper mini muffin cups or grease and flour mini muffin pan and bake for 13-15 minutes at 350.

**I usually make 2 loaves of pumpkin bread, then take remaining batter and add about a cup of chocolate chips and make 24 regular size muffins. My kids love chocolate chip pumpkin muffins.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

We had this one for the first time tonight and it went over really well. The kids liked it better than the chicken tetrazzini I make because it does not have mushrooms (mushrooms are a great horror to my children). One note is that this makes a lot, in fact we will be having this again for dinner tomorrow because there are just so many leftovers. In the future I'm going to make the full recipe, but break it into 2 8x8 pans, cook one for dinner and freeze the other one.

Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

3 cup dry spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
2 cups cooked cubed chicken (I use the good meat from a Costco rotissery chicken)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 cups grated sharp cheddar, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
4 oz jar of diced pimentos, drained
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Fill a pot with water and add bouillon to it. Bring to a boil and once boiling add spaghetti and cook till al dente (about 11 minutes). Drain and set aside.

While spaghetti is cooking, in a large bowl combine cubed chicken, soups, 2 cups of grated cheese, green pepper, onion, pimentos, 2 cups of chicken broth, seasoned salt, and cayenne pepper. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add spaghetti to the bowl and mix well. Pour mixture into a 9x13 casserole and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of grated cheese on top and bake another 2 or 3 minutes until cheese melts. Take out of oven and let rest about 10 minutes before serving.

Freezer Meal directions:

Assembly: Prepare recipe as directed up until the baking part. Pour noodle mixture into 1 - 9x13 foil pan, or 2 - 8x8 foil pans. Cover with plastic wrap then 2 layers and foil and label with heating directions. Place remaining 1 cup of grated cheese into a freezer bag and place on top of casserole. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Heating directions: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove foil and plastic wrap and bake for 40 minutes at 350 (if baking from frozen baking time could be up to 2 hours). Sprinkle with 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese and bake an additional 2-3 minutes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Deceptive Taco Meat

So I own and love the Deceptively Delicious cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld. It really is a great idea and last fall I experimented a lot with hidden veggies in our dinners... The only thing was that the process of making the recipes was a bit labor intensive. So I've kept a few of the recipes as staples (the one's that were not complicated) and I've tweacked them to make 'em easier. So here's how I make our taco meat now. I just made this tonight to put in my freezer actually for a taco night a few weeks away. Anywho, here's the recipe:

Deceptive Taco Meat

1 pound ground beef
1 can petite diced tomatoes (or crushed tomatoes)
1, 2nd foods size, baby food butternut squash (can use 2 jars if you can get away with it without your kids noticing)
1 packet taco seasoning

Brown ground beef, drain. Add can of tomatoes with juice, butternut squash and taco seasoning. Mix it all really well and heat to boiling. Turn down heat and simmer for about 7 - 10 minutes, squishing the tomatoes with a spatula or potato masher to break them up as much as possible. You can either serve it hot or let it cool down and spoon into a freezer bag to freeze for another night.

My kids never realize they are eating tomatoes and squash in the taco meat and really you can hardly taste the difference with the taco seasoning overpowering all the veggie flavor. I've thought about adding some bulgur wheat to this too to throw in a little whole grain with all the veggie goodness. I'll tell you how it goes if and when I do this.

Whole Wheat Pancakes

I have now had these for breakfast 2 days in a row and I think they are great!! This recipe is from my good friend Corinne and I had these at her house yesterday morning. I liked them so much I made them at my house this morning. (This past weekend I had a getaway all by myself and stayed with friends on the East Coast - it was so fun and man do my friends cook good food!!) These pancakes are yummy and filling. I also plan on making hootenannies soon too - I had those for breakfast at another friends house - yum yum!!

Whole Wheat Pancakes

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I added 1/4 cup more for high altitude)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dry milk powder
1/4 cup oil (I used canola)
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups water

Mix dry ingredients, add in wet ingredients, mix and you are ready to go.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Last night I hosted book club and the book we read was Rebecca, which is a stellar read in my opinion. Since the book is set in a big English manor house I decided to do English high tea treats. We had hot cocoa in the place of tea, cucumber tea sandwiches, chocolate covered strawberries, and 2 different kinds of loaf cakes (butter pound, and pumpkin strussel), but I can't post the cake recipes since I bought them from Costco :). I did make the cucumber sandwiches and they were scrumptious if I do say so myself.

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 (.7 oz) packet of dry Italian salad dressing mix
2 French baguettes, or pre-sliced appetizer bread (you can usually find it in the deli section)
2 medium cucumbers, sliced fairly thin
dry dill

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayo, and Italian dressing mix. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Cut baguettes into 1 inch diagonal slices. Spread the cream cheese blend onto each bread piece. Top with 2 over lapping cucumber slices. Sprinkle each sandwich with just a little dill and paprika. Serve immediately or refrigerate. The spread keeps for about a week in the fridge so you can make as many or few as you want and have them again and again!

Chicken and Rice Casserole

This is a kid-pleasing fave around here. I got the recipe from my friend and former neighbor Michelle. She brought this dish (as well as her fantastic orange rolls and a fruit salad) when Ben was born.

Chicken and Rice Casserole

3 cups cooked and cubed chicken
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 packet dry onion soup mix
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup rice

Pour butter into a 9x13 pan. Add rice and chicken. Sprinkle with half the onion soup mix. Mix the cream of chicken with 1 cup of broth. Pour over chicken and sprinkle with the rest of the dry onion soup mix. Pour 2 more cups of broth over all. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes at 350. Remove cover and bake for 10-20 minutes more.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Week of the Crockpot Part 4: Russian Roast

Another crockpot favorite around here. This recipe is from JaNae who I had the pleasure of getting to know through a Recipe Swap enrichment group in our last ward. I love the flavor of this roast and the sauce made from the strained juices is fab over rice.

Russian Roast

8 oz or 1 cup apricot preserves
8 oz or 1 cup Russian salad dressing
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 cup water
rump roast or eye of round roast
3 tablespoons ultra gel or 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with a little water
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules or 2 cubes beef bouillon (crushed)

Place roast in crockpot with water. Cover with jam, dressing, and soup mix. Cook on low for 8 hours.

To make a sauce:
Strain the liquid from the crockpot into a saucepan. Add Ultra Gel or cornstarch and beef bouillon. Stir over med high heat until thickened. Serve beef and sauce with rice.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Week of the Crockpot Part 3: Halloween Chili

Happy Halloween!!! Halloween is my favorite holiday! I love all the cute costumes and candy and parties - so fun! In my family growing up we always had chili and hot dogs on Halloween and I've continued the tradition in my family with this yummy crockpot chili. It is in my crockpot right now cooking away and I just love the way my house smells like Halloween all day when I cook it! This recipe makes a lot, so I usually freeze half to have another night (usually over baked potatoes to switch it up), but if you'd like to make a smaller amount I've also included a half-batch recipe below.

Halloween Crock Pot Chili

2 lb. ground beef
2 onions, chopped (I always use 2 cups of frozen chopped onions)
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 (14.5 oz each) cans stewed tomatoes, drained
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can pink, pinto, or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Hormel chili (I used to not tell people about this ingredient because it's a bit ironic)
2-3 tablespoons chili powder (if you really like a chili taste add 3 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (can leave out if you don't like it too spicy)
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Brown beef, onions and garlic, and put in the crockpot with all the other ingredients. Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours. We serve it with hot dogs, shredded cheese, corn chips, and apple cider.

Half Batch Halloween Crock Pot Chili

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1, 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes (I usally drain some of the juices, but not all)
8 oz can tomato sauce
2 cans Hormel Chili with Beans
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Brown beef with onion. Add garlic and cook anothe minute. Put browned beef mixture into slow cooker with all other ingredients. Cook on low for about 6 hours.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chicken Tetrazzini

This is what we are having tonight. I know this for sure because I made this as a freezer meal last month and it is thawed in my fridge ready for me to bake momentarily. This recipe is from my friend Kellie, who is an excellent freezer meal cook! I know this because we were in a freezer meal exchange group together a few years ago and I always looked forward to Kellie's meals! So thanks to Kellie for this fantastic tetrazzini recipe! Oh you can make this with leftover turkey too and its very good.

Chicken Tetrazzini


1/2 cup bread crumbs
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan


6 tablespoons butter
3 cups or 8 ounces sliced white mushrooms
2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
ground black pepper
3/4 lb. thin spaghetti, strands snapped in half
1/4 cup flour
1 can chicken broth
3/4 cup grated/shredded Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 cups frozen peas
4 cups cooked cubed chicken or turkey (I use the meat from a Costco rotissery chicken)


Mix the ingredients for the topping and set aside.

In a skillet (medium heat) heat 2 tablespoon butter till melted and foam subsides. Add mushrooms, onion and saute, stirring frequently until onion softens and mushroom liquid evaporates, 12-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, drain spaghetti and return to pot with reserved liquid.

Clean the skillet that you used for the mushrooms and then heat 4 tablespoons of butter in it over medium heat. When foam subsides, whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly until flour turns golden, 1 - 2 minutes. Whisking constantly add chicken broth. Adjust heat to medium high and simmer until mixture thickens, 3-4 minutes. Off heat whisk in Parmesan, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, lemon juice, and thyme. Add sauce, sauted vegetables, peas and meat to spaghetti and mix well. (I usually add a bit more Parmesan cheese to the spaghetti as well.) Adjust seasonings to taste.

Turn mixture into a buttered 9x13 pan. Or you can do what I do and put half into a 8x8 foil baking dish to freeze and the other half into a 8x8 baking dish to cook right away. (Gotta love double duty meals!!) Sprinkle evenly with topping mixture and bake at 400 until breadcrumbs are browned and mixture is bubbly, 13 - 15 minutes.

Freezer Meal Instructions: If you are making this as a freezer meal pour spaghetti mixture into a 9x13 foil baking pan for a large family or 2 8x8 foil baking pans for a smaller family. Cover with plastic wrap and then a double layer of foil to ward off freezer burn. Put topping mixture into 1 small or divide in half and put in 2 small zip lock bags. Tape the topping mixes to the freezer meals to keep them together and label with cooking instructions.

Freezer Meal Reheating Instructions: Thaw in fridge for a day or 2. Remove plastic wrap and foil and cook at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle on the topping mix and cook 5-7 minutes more, until bread crumbs are browned.

Week of the Crockpot Part 2: Lentil Stew

I got this recipe whilst perusing a bunch of recipe blogs out there, but I kind of adapted it a little to suit our tastes. It really is a super easy recipe and everyone in the family gave it thumbs up.

Crockpot Lentil Stew

2 cups dry lentils
8 cups water
8 beef bouillon cubes
4 tablespoons dried onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons dried bacon-like bits (Bacos)
5 carrots, chopped
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper (I just do a few good cranks of the pepper mill)

Mix all the ingredients together in crockpot. Cook on high for 6 hours. Add beef broth as needed to get desired consistency. (We like it fairly thick, but I did add some broth just too thin it out a bit.) We served it with a few cheese crackers (Annie's Cheddar Bunnies) on top and with rolls - it was a hit.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Recipe bloggin'

I've decided to start a recipe blog to keep track of and to share my favorite recipes - stay tuned for my "week of the crockpot" posts!:)