Thursday, August 27, 2009


Every once in a while we have crepes for dinner. Dessert crepes. And it's always a very happy night in our house. Tonight we had them with strawberries, bananas, Nutella, and whipped cream. Mmmm!!! I've included the new crepe recipe I used tonight (I got it from by blender's manual) and also my "tried and true" recipe which I have been making since middle school. I think my Tried and True Crepes are the best, but these Blender Crepes were so easy to whip up and come in a close second.

Blender Crepes

1, 12 oz can evaporated milk
6 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups flour

Place ingredients in blender in the order listed and blend until smooth (for my blender I just hit the "batter" button and it does it all for me). Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into a buttered frying pan, lift the frying pan up and rotate it around slightly so that the batter covers the whole bottom of the pan. Heat crepe until underside browns slightly then turn crepe over for other side to brown. Stack crepes between pieces of wax paper. Makes about 16 crepes.

Tried and True Crepes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and beat with a hand mixer until smooth. Butter a frying pan and pour 1/4 cup into it. Immediately rotate pan until batter evenly covers the bottom. Cook until underside is slightly browned. Turn and cook the other side till slightly browned. Stack between wax paper.

Crepe Fillings/Toppings that We Like:
fresh strawberry sauce (recipe below)
sweet cream cheese sauce (recipe below)
pie filling (like peach or raspberry - mmm!)
chocolate pudding/mousse
whipped cream
powdered sugar
chocolate syrup
caramel syrup

Fresh Strawberry Sauce

2 lbs strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar

Place sliced strawberries into a bowl. Mash a little with a potato masher or a pastry blender. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar to the berries (depending on how sweet you want it) and stir until sugar dissolves. Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours and it will develope a syrupy sauce. This tastes so good with the Sweet Cream Cheese Sauce - like stawberry cheesecake wrapped up in a crepe.

Sweet Cream Cheese Sauce

4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream

Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer (stand or hand mixer) until smooth. Add cream and whip until it forms stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chicken Divan

I love this casserole! I love it because it is simple yet has great flavor. I got the recipe from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, a spur of the moment Costco buy (I can't resist the cookbooks at Costco!). Also this is a chicken divan without canned soup or mayonnaise and since I'm not a huge fan of mayonnaise in casseroles this was perfect. The mustard gives it a nice subtle tang.

Chicken Divan

4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cubed
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups chicken broth (I might add a little more next time to make the rice a bit saucier)
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 cups Minute Rice
2, 10 oz packages frozen broccoli florets, thawed
8 oz or 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Pat the chicken dry and then cut into 2 inch chunks. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray and then spread chicken in the bottom of the dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Whisk cream, broth and mustard together in a large microwave safe bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Heat in microwave on high for 7-8 minutes (until boiling). Stir rice into the cream mixture and pour over the chicken. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from oven.

Pat the broccoli dry, then combine with the cheddar cheese and stir into the chicken and rice mixture (I just kind of pressed it into the top, but you can mix it in). Sprinkle with Ritz cracker crumbs. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until the broccoli is hot and the crumbs are browned.

Bowtie Pasta Salad

The flavors of this pasta salad go so well together! My husband and daughter especially loved it and probably had thirds or fourths the other night when we had it with grilled chicken. It was even great 2 days later for lunch. Delicious!

Bowtie Pasta Salad

2 cups uncooked bowtie pasta
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
2 cups diced ham
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 cups small cubed sharp cheddar cheese (8oz block, cubed)

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling , salted water according to package directions. Drain. Rinse until cooled and then allow to sit and dry a bit.

In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, mustard, sugar, pepper, dill, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine prepared pasta, grapes, ham, green onions, and cheese. Toss with the dressing. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours.

Breakfast Burritos (Freezer Meal)

It is so easy to make a batch of these breakfast burritos to freeze. Each burrito only takes 2 minutes to heat up from frozen and my kids love them. I say that's a win win - easy to make, easy to heat. Easy all around.:)

Breakfast Burritos (Freezer Meal)

12 eggs
1 lb. sausage, cooked (or diced ham or bacon)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
12, 8" flour tortillas

Scramble eggs in large skillet until done and remove from heat; stir in cooked sausage. Warm tortillas in microwave for 30 seconds until they are warm and flexible. Place 1/2 cup of egg/sausage mixture into the tortillas and top with some of the shredded cheese, roll up burrito style and wrap in plastic wrap. Label each burrito with heating instructions. Freeze burritos in a single layer on a cookie sheet. When fully frozen (about an hour) place burritos in a large ziplock freezer bag and freeze.

Heating Instructions:
Remove from plastic wrap and wrap in a paper towel. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until hot.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Favorite Broccoli Cheese Soup

I know, I know, how can my favorite (and my family's favorite) broccoli cheese soup have Cheez Whiz in it?? Well all I can say is because it tastes SO good. Seriously all my kids can't get enough of this soup and that includes my very picky 5 year old. I got this recipe back in the day from ZCMI when I was a newly-wed. In the kitchen department they had envelopes that you could buy at the register full of colored index cards with different"Grandma's Recipes" on them. Does anyone else remember them?? This particular recipe is from the "Grandma's Soups" recipe collection and I've always loved it (though I have altered it slightly according to our taste over the years). So creamy. So good.

Favorite Broccoli Cheese Soup

5 1/2 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
2-3 cups frozen broccoli
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 sticks of butter (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup flour
1 cup Cheez Whiz
1 1/2 tablespoons Ultra Gel or about 2 T. cornstarch mixed with a little water (optional)

In a pot combine water, bouillon, broccoli, and onion. Boil until onion and broccoli are tender. In a small saucepan melt butter; add flour and whisk until smooth. Mix butter/flour mixture into the soup pot. Add Cheez Whiz and stir until all the Cheez Whiz has melted into the soup. Whisk in Ultra Gel if using at this point. Let soup simmer over low heat for about 3 minutes. At this point I use a whisk to break up all the broccoli because that's how my family likes it. Serve individual servings with a little shredded cheese on top.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chicken Spaghetti Alfredo

This is a tasty mock alfredo recipe (it's "mock" because it's basically a white sauce, but hey that's okay right?!). I really liked it. My kids were not too enthused by it probably because of the herbs in the sauce so I might make it again with our the dried herbs.

Chicken Spaghetti Alfredo

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle Italian dressing
1 tablespoon oil (olive or canola)
1 lb. spaghetti noodles (or other pasta of choice)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cream
1 1/4 cups skim milk (if you have 2% milk you can use 1 1/2 cups and leave out the cream)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
3/4 cup grated Parmesan

Marinate chicken breast in Italian dressing for 2-3 hours. Remove chicken from marinate and wipe off excess marinade on the chicken with a paper towel. Heat oil in a skillet and brown the chicken breasts on both sides. Finish cooking the chicken in a baking dish in a 350 degree oven until they are cooked through. When chicken is done cut it into pieces, cover with foil and set aside until you are ready to add it to the sauce.

Boil spaghetti according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile while chicken and spaghetti are cooking melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour and whisk until smooth over low heat. Add cream, milk, chicken broth, parsley oregano and garlic salt. Stir constantly and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 2 minutes, sauce should be thickened. Remove from heat and add Parmesan. Add cooked chicken pieces to the sauce and serve over spaghetti. Can add more Parmesan to top individual servings.

Favorite Zucchini Bread

I love this zucchini bread recipe and it will be my go-to recipe from now on. It's "Zucchini Bread IV" from allrecipes but I modified it slightly using a cup more of shredded zucchini (lots of the reviews for this recipe suggested that). Big thanks goes out to my friend Jenny for giving me 2 lovely zucchini from her garden!

Favorite Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)
2 cups white sugar
3 cups finely grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour (plus 1/4 cup for high altitude)
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans.

In a large bowl beat the eggs with a whisk until light and frothy. Mix in oil and sugar. Stir in zucchini and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Divide batter into the prepared pans evenly. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Quick-ish Caramel Popcorn

I found this recipe at Mommy's Kitchen and since I had all the ingredients on hand I made it for a quick dessert tonight (to encourage a whine free dinner - "No caramel popcorn if you don't eat a good dinner" kinda thing). Super good and definitely addictive. I want more right now, but we ate it all!

Quick-ish Caramel Popcorn

1 bag (2.9oz size) microwave popcorn, popped (with un-popped kernels removed) or 8 cups airpopped popcorn
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Put popped popcorn into a large baking dish (I used a 11x15 pyrex) that has been well greased or really well sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. In a saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Cook on LOW heat until butter melts, then cook on low without stirring for about 4 minutes, it should be bubbling gently during the 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Quickly pour as evenly as possible over the popcorn in the baking dish. With a non-stick sprayed spatula or wooden spoon mix the popcorn gently to coat the popcorn evenly. Bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn pan out onto a few sheets of waxed paper and break up the clumps. Let cool and then serve. Store airtight in containers or ziplocks.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

I'm updating this recipe since I switched it up a little this morning using dry onion and garlic powder in place of the real thing because honestly I just didn't feel like chopping up an onion this morning. It still turned out great. I got the original recipe from Emily's Experiments and thinks it's awesome - thanks Emily. You can't beat a great crockpot recipe.

Crockpot BBQ Chicken

4 chicken breasts (I put them in frozen)
1 bottle of barbecue sauce (I used a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's)
a couple dashes of liquid smoke
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup chili sauce
2 tablespoons dry minced onion (or 1/2 a large red onion diced)
1/2 teaspoon dry granulated garlic (or 2 cloves garlic, minced)

Spray crockpot with non-stick spray. Place chicken breasts in crockpot. Combine barbecue sauce, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, chili sauce, dry minced onion, and garlic powder. Pour barbecue sauce mixture over the chicken. Cook on low for about 5 hours and check on chicken. Once chicken is cooked through shred the chicken with 4 forks, mix it well with the sauce in the crockpot. Set crockpot to warm until ready to serve. Can add more barbecue sauce till it reaches the right consistency. Serve on buns or over rice.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

I've been in a pumpkin mood lately and it isn't even fall... I say pumpkin should be year round fare. And I can't believe I haven't put this wonderful pumpkin recipe on here before now. This is my go to dessert recipe to take to potlucks and is my favorite cupcake recipe. Ever. Cake and pumpkin and chocolate and frosting... So good. I got this recipe from my friend Deb's husband - thanks Greg!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

1 yellow cake mix (I added 1/4 cup flour to it for high altitude)
1 small box vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chocolate chips (can use mini)

1 container vanilla frosting

Preheat oven to 350. Place 24 muffin cups in 2 muffin tins. Mix all the cupcake ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Beat at low speed till moistened, then beat for 2 minutes at high speed. Fold in chocolate chips by hand. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350. Once done remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting combine frosting and cinnamon until it reaches the cinnamony-ness you desire. I just sprinkle some in and stir it around and then sprinkle in more cinnamon until it tastes right.

Funeral Potatoes

I've never liked the name of this ubiquitously Mormon potato casserole, but it is what it is so I won't rock the boat by calling it something else. This particular recipe is super yummy and saucey. I've had lots of different versions and make a couple different ones myself, but this one is my kids' favorite and it rocks with pork tenderloin, chops, or ham.

Funeral Potatoes

1, 2 lb bag frozen shredded hashbrown potatoes
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
2 cups grated cheddar (an 8oz block grated)
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1/3 cup cooked and crumbled bacon

Combine all the ingredients together in a big bowl. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray and then spread the potato mixture into the dish. Bake at 325 for about 1 1/2 hours.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Honey Sesame Pork Tenderloin

This recipe is from the Worldwide Ward Cookbook and it's great. I love the flavor and pork tenderloins are so easy to make. I served it with homemade applesauce and funeral potatoes and dinner was a hit.

Honey Sesame Pork Tenderloin

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or 1 teaspoon dry ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 - 1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
sesame seeds

Combine soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil in a large plastic bag. Add tenderloin. Marinate at least 2 hours. Combine honey and brown sugar in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Remove tenderloin from marinade and pat dry with a paper towel. Roll tenderloin in honey mixture and then roll in sesame seeds. Roast in a shallow pan at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Baked Spaghetti

This is a great easy spaghetti casserole. The recipe is from Eat at Home. My whole family loved it. It made a lot so I'll probably turn it into a freezer meal next time by putting it into 2 8x8s and freezing one for a future meal. This time we'll be eating it for 2 days in a row because there was so much - I'm sure the leftovers will be tasty too.

Baked Spaghetti

1 lb ground beef
1, 26.5 oz can Hunt's spaghetti sauce
1, 15 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
about 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Italian seasoning
3/4 lb spaghetti

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Brown meat and onion together. Add minced garlic and let cook for 2 minutes. Drain fat. Add spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning to taste. Combine spaghetti sauce mixture with cooked noodles. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan and 1 cup mozzarella and stir. Pour mixture into a 9x13 baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top evenly with 1 cup mozzarella and about 1/4 cup Parmesan (as much as looks good). Cover loosely with foil that has been folded down the middle to form a sort of tent over casserole. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 3 minutes. Let rest about 10 minutes before serving.

Pumpkin Pancakes

These were awesome! I got the recipe from Mommy's Kitchen and used Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix (you can get huge bags of this for cheap at Costco). For my family of 5 (but 1 of those is a 3 year old) I used 3 cups of pancake mix and it made just the right number of pancakes for a filling dinner. My 10 year old said these were the best pancakes she's ever had. So good.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Mix your favorite pancake mix according to the package directions. Then for every 1 cup of dry pancake mix used add:

1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie

*So for my family this is the list of ingredients I used:
3 cups Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix
2 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice