"It's the company, not the cooking, that makes the meal!" ~Perilee 
(Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

C&M's Fresh Lime Freeze

My brother Chad and his wife Merrie, make this refreshing lime freeze. They first served us this treat when they came to visit us when we lived in upstate New York. Over the summer I got several limes in one of my bountiful baskets and had to call her for the recipe. Thank you Chad and Merrie for sharing this refreshing recipe.


C&M's Fresh Lime Freeze

1-2 Limes, wash limes and cut in 1/2 or 1/4's and place (peels and all) in a blender.
Add 1 cup of water and blend well. Strain limes and water through a fine mesh strainer, catching in a bowl all the lime juice and water. There may be some contents left in the blender. Add a small amount of water to clean/rinse it out and strain anything left on the blender sides.

Place the strained lime/water liquid back into the blender add 2-3 cups of water.
Add 3/4 cup sugar and fill the blender up with ice and blend. (In place of the ice vanilla ice cream can also be added.)

**If you like a stronger lime flavor you can increase your limes or cut back on the sugar.

Parrish Family Salsa


We have been using the same salsa recipe for years, canning it every fall. Last summer we made some changes to the recipe and love it all the same. It is a highly requested recipe among friends that taste it fresh or from our canned jars.

Parrish Family Salsa 2010
8 quarts Tomatoes, peeled, chopped, and cored
5 cups onions, chopped for chunky or grind if desired
2-3 cups Green Bell Peppers
2-3 cups Mixed Peppers Chopped
(7 Anaheim peppers, 1-2 yellow, red, and/or orange bell peppers to equal the three cups)
3 Tablespoons Jalapeno pepper, finely chopped or grind
1/4 cup Salt (pickling salt or table salt can be used)
1/3 cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon Cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon Oregano
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1/2 cup Cider Vinegar

Blanch tomatoes in boiling water, peel, core, and chop to desired size and place in a large stockpot. Chop onions, all peppers add to the tomatoes. Add all sugar, spices, and vinegar. Stir well and bring contents to a boil. Turn down to a simmer to desired consistency, roughly 1 1/2-2 hours. May take longer depending on desired consistency. As it thickens remember it must be stirred more often. Put in hot jars with a lid and ring. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

** Water Bath Processing notes: Hot jars must go in hot water. Cold jars need to go in cold water bath and warm as it heats up. If you put a hot jar in cold water the jar can break (destroying your hard work and efforts).

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Homemade Shortbread Cookie Crust


I am posting this as a "note to self". This is the crust from the turtle cheesecake recipe I make, but I think the crust would work perfectly in place of Lorna Doone or Sandie cookies in some of my other desserts. Like my family's Fresh Peach Dessert or my pumpkin cheesecakes.

Homemade Shortbread Cookie Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
6 Tablespoon cold butter, chopped


In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and pecans; cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Chicken with Mushrooms and White Sauce


This recipe has been in our "GOOD Recipe!" file for several years. When I got mushrooms in my BB basket last week this recipe popped into my mind. It never disappoints our tastebuds.

Chicken with Wine Sauce is the title on the recipe card 7:7 from my Easy Everyday Cooking file.
*This recipe calls for white wine but chicken broth can be used, hence the reason I changed my title of the recipe. This recipe is so rich and delicious, enjoy it!

Chicken with Mushrooms and White Sauce

4 Skinless, boneless, chicken breast (4 oz ) each
1/3 cup All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup butter or margarine
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup white wine or chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 Tablespoons dried parsley
3/4 cup whipping cream

Pound each chicken breast to a 1/4-inch thickness. Mix flour, salt, and pepper together on waxed paper. Coat chicken with flour mixture. Shake off excess.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, cook chicken over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside; cover to keep warm.
Add mushrooms and white wine/chicken broth to skillet. Cook stirring continually, for about 2 minutes. (I like to add so minced garlic or garlic salt and 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions with the mushrooms for added flavor. Its great without it too.) Add parsley and whipping cream to skillet. Cook over low heat stirring continually, until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Serve sauce over chicken.

We like to serve this with a fresh salad or steamed seasonal vegetable side and a slice of nice bread. The perfect partner for it is angel hair pasta, but as you can see from our picture we like it with rice too.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Easy S'more Brownies

I got this idea from a Betty Crocker e-newsletter. I didn't follow their recipe exactly, but I am sure you could find it on their website. I simply made our favorite brownies from a box. I used the new flat and square marshmallows (the original recipe used mini marshmallows and covered the entire pan) I thought it would be easier to cut if the marshmallow was seperated. These square marshmallows worked great each brownie had its own and it worked great. Chop or break up some graham crackers and chocolate, then sprinkle on top of the toasted marshmallows while still warm.

To toast the marshmallows I simply turned the oven to broil after the brownies were completely cooked to insure that I wouldn't over bake the brownies and still end up with a tasty toasted marshmallow. I will say that I did not put enough chopped chocolate on the top, so next time I will be adding more. Can you ever have to much smooth and creamy chocolate?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken and Noodles


It has been a while since I posted anything! I finally cooked something that got rave reviews from my kids and my nieces and nephews. My sister-in-law and her kids all gave this 5 stars and so did we. I snagged this recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up blog; almost everything I have cooked from her blog has gotten rave reviews. She is an excellent cook. I will say that I always CUT BACK the ingredients sometimes its been to cut back on the amount of cream of mushroom soup cans or the sugar for my health as well as the wallet. For this recipe I cut the sugar back by 1/4 cup. If I am going to eat that much sugar I want it to be in my treats not my main course. I think no matter how you may modify this recipe for your liking that you will find it a quick and easy meal that pleases those who like a little Japanese meal occasionally.

Teriyaki Chicken and Noodle Bowl (for the original recipe see www.jamiecooksitup.blogspot.com)

4 Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
salt and pepper
3 Large Carrots
1 Red Pepper (I used several small sweet peppers from my Bountiful Basket)
8 Mushrooms
1/2 Sweet Onion (original calls for red)
1 16 oz pkg. Angel Hair Pasta or Thin spaghetti noodles

Teriyaki Saucea
1 1/2 cups COLD water
1/2 cup packed Brown sugar (Original recipe calls for 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
3 Tablespoons Corn Starch
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil

Cut chicken thighs into strips or bite size pieces. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add your chicken. Salt and Pepper to taste. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently; chicken should be golden brown on all sides.

While chicken is cooking, chop your vegetables-chopping them small, but not finely. When the chicken is cooked through, remove from pan, keeping it warm and letting it rest. Add remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil to your hot pan and cook veggies until crispy tender.

Meanwhile mix all Teriyaki Sauce ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Once the veggies are cooked remove from the pan and keep warm with the chicken. Pour your Teriyaki Sauce into the hot pan. Cook whisking frequently until mixture thickens; roughly 3-5 minutes. When sauce is thick remove from heat.

To serve**, place noodles with chicken and vegetables , and top with desired amount of Teriyaki Sauce.

** We served it up in individual portions which worked great. Where we doubled the recipe for company, everyone was able to eat their fill, and the left over noodles could be used for butter noodles or spaghetti noodles the next day because they weren't covered in sauce.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Green Tomatillo Chicken

My mom called me today wanting to know what I do with Tomatillo's so I am posting this recipe for her. We have had this recipe in our keeper pile since 2005. It won't have a picture because I haven't cooked it recently, but Jack loves the sauce. You can make it as mild or as hot as you wish by the salsa ingredients. We have used homemade salsa (recipe included below) or by it at the store when we don't have the fresh ingredients on hand. We love crockpot recipes that please our tastebuds. Mom I hope you enjoy this recipe! Good Luck


Green Tomatillo Chicken

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup green tomatillo salsa (a.k.a Salsa Verde on the store shelf)
1 1/2 cups sour cream (now you know why it taste so rich and creamy!)

Place the chicken breast in the crockpot. In a small mixing bowl, combine the onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and salsa. Pour this sauce over the chicken breast. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours or high 3 to 4 hours. Remove the chicken from the crockpot, stir the sour cream into the juices in the stoneware and blend well. Pour this sauce over each piece of chicken.

Makes 6 servings

WE LOVE TO SERVE THIS CHICKEN AND SAUCE OVER RICE!


We also make the Tomatillo Salsa Fresh whenever we can

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa (From Southernfood.about.com)

A tomatillo salsa recipe, made with fresh tomatillos and lime juice, along with chile peppers and seasonings.


2 Anaheim chile peppers, roasted, peeled, and chopped **

1 pound fresh tomatillos, peeled, stems removed, about 10 to 12 **

2 fresh Serrano chiles, cut in half **

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 medium clove garlic, minced

1/4 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt



Pulse tomatillos in food processor until coarsely chopped. Add peppers and next 3 ingredients; pulse until small dice, but do not over process. Pour into a serving bowl. Stir in the olive oil, lime juice, and salt until well blended. Cover and chill.


** I always remove the husks and wash the stickiness off the tomtillos as best I can, then I cut them in half and place them as well as my peppers on a cookie sheet and roast them under the oven broiler for about 7 minutes. Then puree all the tomatillo salsa ingredients together in a blender.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ground Beef Roast


This recipe comes out of a cookbook my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas two years ago. She made this dish for dinner. I honestly don't care for meat loaf that much so I wasn't that excited about it, but I was SO HAPPY that someone else was the brainpower behind dinner (always a nice break ;-}). I was so surprise that I loved this dish! I don't know if it was because I was pregnant (no knowing it yet) and just need the extra protein, but I am banking on it just being a taste that suites me. I made it the other night when Cameron requested noodles and meatballs. I didn't feel like rolling individual meatballs, nor did I have the time, so this recipe came to mind. It was as good on my taste buds as it was two years ago. My kids LOVED it and requested seconds then expressing how many stars they thought it deserved. It was a hit for all of us. I was especially excited because of all the green bell peppers I have been getting in my basket and needed to use. This was a quick pull together meal, but it does need 1 hour to bake.

We like mashed potatoes or buttered noodle as or choice of side, as well as a salad or other vegetable. This is a family favorite and will make its appearance more in the rotation of favorites.

Ground Beef Roast (Big Flat Meat Loaf in a Baking Dish)
Original recipe from Nancy Schiffer, Kaycee, WY out of Eatin' with Sal cookbook p.11

2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground sausage meat
1/2 cup milk
4 slices bread, torn in pieces, or 1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup dry parsley or 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 Tablespoon soy sauce

For the topping:
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup catsup mixed with 1.2 cup water

Place the bread and milk in a bowl, add the parsley, eggs, salt and pepper and soy sauce; mix well. Add the meats and blend all together lightly.I usually use my hands.
Pat the meat mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, or something sort of that size; sprinkle the onion and pepper over the top and drizzle with the catsup mixture over the top. Bake for an hour at 350.

**3 lbs of meat is a lot of meat for our little family so I halved the recipe:

Ground Beef Roast (1/2 recipe-my amounts and alterations)
1.5 lbs lean ground beef
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Panko crumbs
1/8 cup (2 T.) Dried Parsley
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoons Pepper
1 Tablespoon soy sauce

Topping:
1/2-1 cup chopped Green Pepper **
1/2-1 cup chopped Onion (I use sweet onions 99.9% of the time) **
1/2 cup catsup mixed with 1/4 cup water.

**I mixed some of the peppers and onions in with the meat mixture thought my kids would like it better that way. Then I sprinkled the remaining pepper and onion pieces over the top of the catsup layer.

Place the bread and milk in a bowl, add the parsley, eggs, salt and pepper and soy sauce; mix well. Add the meats and blend all together lightly.I usually use my hands.
Pat the meat mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, or something sort of that size; sprinkle the onion and pepper over the top and drizzle with the catsup mixture over the top. Bake for an hour at 350.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chicken Marinara


This is a nice dish that comes together in roughly 30 minutes. There are steps you can do ahead of time if you know that the dinner hour time is going to be hectic or crunched. Seems to be the story of everyday living for most families now days.

Chicken Marinara

1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Large Carrot
1 Medium Zucchini
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
4 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast, Pounded to 1/4-inch Thickness
1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper
1 (14 oz) can Stewed Italian Tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced black olives
5 medium mushrooms sliced (about 3 oz. I have even used a 4 oz can of Mushrooms)

Cut bell pepper, carrots, and zucchini into thin sticks about 3 inches long; set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil; cook chicken until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Sprinkle with oregano, salt, and pepper. Remove chicken from skillet. Add tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, bell pepper, carrot and zucchini to skillet. Cook covered, for 3 minutes. Return chicken to skillet; increase heat to medium-high. Cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened and chicken and vegetables are tender.

* We like to serve this with Angel Hair or Linguine pastas or it's good over rice too.

**Make Ahead steps: Slice bell pepper, zucchini, and carrots 1 day ahead. To store wrap in damp paper towels, place in plastic bags and refrigerate.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Coconut Syrup

My kids love coconut syrup (The IHOP copycat recipe we have) and are always requesting it. I have tried to make it without buttermilk and butter using milk, lemon juice, and margarine. It is good but just not the same. So today I made a different version after looking at some recipes that said theirs tasted like what is served in Hawaii. Seeing that I have never been to Hawaii I wouldn't know but we liked this new recipe too. I personally could do without the shredded coconut in it but Cameron really liked it. The plus side to this recipe for me is that it is a pantry recipe. I can store all the needed items or have them already in my food storage items, so it can be made at anytime.


Jill's Pantry Coconut Syrup

1 (13.5 oz) can Coconut Milk, unsweetened
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
2 1/2 cups White Sugar (Now you know why the kids love it!)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Whisk together the coconut milk and cornstarch in a saucepan until the cornstarch is dissolved. Pour in the sugar, water, and coconut; bring to boil, stirring continually. As soon as the mixture comes to a roiling boil, remove from heat. Allow to cool before serving.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beef Fajitas


This recipe came to me by way of the butcher at Roger Meats. I really enjoyed the flavor as did our company. My kids aren't crazy about the stripes of meat, so next time I will have to mince or cube their pieces to make it easier for them to eat. I am excited to have this recipe to use up some more of our fajita meats in the freezer.

For: 1 lb. Skirt or flank steak

Marinade:
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tablespoons Oil
2 Gloves of garlic (I pressed mine)
1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Blend marinade ingredient in a food processor or blender. Marinade meat for 30 minutes. (I did mine longer-for a few hours, and it turn out fine.

Grill or pan fry the steak over high heat for 3 minutes per side or to desired doneness. (I did mine closer to 5 minutes on first side and 3 on the other. The meat was cooked to a medium doneness.)

Slice the meat across the grain into thin pieces. Serve with cheese, tomatoes, grilled onions (I made our favorite grilled onions and mushrooms), avocado, sour cream, and cilantro

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Fruit-Topped Triple Chocolate Tarts

I made these little treats for our women's organization's annual celebration last week. I got the recipe from my Pampered Chef "All The Best" cookbook. They make it into one large pizza, but I choose to make it into individual tarts for ease of serving on the planned buffet. My taste testers (a.k.a Jack and the kids) loved the strawberry on top but were not all together loving the mandarin orange. So next time I think I will just add a half of a strawberry and call it good.

Fruit-Topped Triple Chocolate Pizza

Make your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough (Or the original recipe calls for 1 package (18 oz) refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough)
2 squares (1 oz each) white chocolate for baking (I used white chocolate chips)
2 Tablespoons milk
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup thawed, frozen whipped topping
12-16 strawberries, cut in half
1 can (11 oz) mandarin orange segments, well drained
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you desire to make it the large pizza version place your dough on a large round stone and roll it out into 12-inch circle, about 1/4 inch thick. Bake 12-15 minutes until edges are set. (Cookie will be soft. Don't over bake) Remove from oven and cool about 10 minutes. Loosen from baking sheet and let it cool completely still resting on the sheet.

For the individual tarts. I used a muffin tin and my smallest ice cream scoop so that they would be equal in size. I baked the dough for about 8-9 minutes; let them cool lightly then removed them from the pan to a wire rack to cool. (You could use a cupcake liner too, if it meets your fancy.)

For the topping mix white chocolate and milk in a mixing bowl. Microwave on high 1 minute; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Microwave an additional 10-20 seconds if necessary. Cool slightly. In a separate bowl combine cream cheese and powdered sugar; beat until mixed well and the mixture is smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over cookie/cookies.

Arrange the fruit on top of the cream cheese mixture. Place chocolate morsels and vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl and melt until smooth. Drizzle over fruit. (I think this is easiest out of a baggie). Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Cornmeal Flatbread

I wanted to try this bread because I have lots of cornmeal in bulk that I am not using. I wanted to find some more recipes to help me use it up. So I share a bread that I found on familyfun.com. It worked out perfect that I had this in my "to try file" because I also got fresh rosemary in one of my baskets so I could give this recipe a try.

I only put 6 slices of tomatoes on mine and let the other half with only the herbs and cheese sprinkled on it. It was a nice side dish. My kids enjoyed it. The only draw back is if you don't eat all the pieces with the tomatoes it doesn't keep well.

Cornmeal Flatbread

Cooked on a baking sheet and sliced into squares, flatbread makes a versatile alternative to your standard dinner rolls. And your kids can lend a hand by pressing the dough into the pan and drizzling it with olive oil. In this version, cornmeal gives the bread a crispy crust, the perfect base for layering on fresh tomato, rosemary, and Parmesan.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups warm water (105ºF to 115ºF)
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups unbleached flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1/3 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 20 or so Kalamata olives, pitted and halved or quartered (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tomato, cored and thinly sliced vertically
  • 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced (I used sweet onions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Leaves from 5 to 6 small sprigs rosemary
  • 1/4 cup shaved fresh Parmesan
Instructions
  1. Measure the water into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir it with a wooden spoon. Let the mixture stand until the yeast dissolves and small bubbles form, about 5 to 7 minutes.

  2. Add 4 cups of the flour, the cornmeal, and the table salt and stir the mixture until the ingredients are uniformly combined. Stir in the olives, if you're using them. Add another 1/2 to 1 cup of flour and knead the dough in the bowl until it holds together.

  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it until smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball.

  4. Measure 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into a large bowl. Add the dough, then turn it to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm area until it has doubled, generally 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

  5. Heat the oven to 475ºF. Coat a rimmed baking sheet (ours was 17 by 12 inches) with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Punch down the dough and transfer it to the prepared sheet, using your fingertips to press it out to fit the pan.

  6. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the dough. Again, let the dough rise in a warm area, uncovered this time, until it's puffy, about 30 minutes.

  7. Press your fingertips into the dough to form small indentations across the entire surface. Then top it with the sliced tomatoes and red onion, and season it with the coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Distribute the rosemary leaves across the surface, lightly pressing them into the dough.

  8. Bake the bread until it's brown and crusty, 20 to 25 minutes, then top it with Parmesan. Enjoy it warm or at room temperature. Serves 8 to 10.

Cream of Asparagus Soup (Lion House)

So yet another recipe for Asparagus, still using up the 1/2 case of asparagus that I bought. (I really need to buy a pressure cooker so I can can vegetables is I ever do something crazy like that again. :-)) This recipe was good and a nice way to use up some of my asparagus.
Cream of Asparagus Soup (Lion House Christmas p.29)
1 (15 oz) can asparagus, undrained*
3 Tablespoons margarine
1/4 cup minced onions
3 Tablespoons flour
1 (15 oz) can chicken broth
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pour asparagus and its liquid into a blender and process until pureed, set aside. In a heavy soup pot, melt margarine over medium-high heat; add onions, and saute until soft. Stir in flour. Add pureed asparagus, chicken broth, milk, paprika, and salt. Cook and stir until slightly thickened.

Make 6 servings.

*If using fresh asparagus, simmer 3/4-pound fresh, cleaned asparagus in 2 cups salted water until tender. Remove asparagus from water. Cool slightly and puree in blender. Follow recipe as above.

Spinach and Bacon Pasta Toss

This is a recipe I got from kraft foods magazine 4 plus years ago. When I got tomatoes and spinach in my Bountiful Basket several weeks ago this was what I served up for dinner with a side of bread.

Spinach and Bacon Pasta Toss

1 lb. Any Variety of pasta, uncooked
3/4 cup Italian Dressing
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped
1 pt cherry tomatoes, halved (or 1-2 cups diced fresh tomatoes, drain of juices)
1 bag (6 oz) baby spinach leaves (4 cups)
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, divided
8 slices bacon, crispy cooked and crumbled

Cook noodles as directed on package. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 5 to 7 minutes. or until cooked through. Add tomatoes; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
Add spinach, 1/2 cup of the cheese and the bacon; toss lightly to combine. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Makes 8 servings; 1 1/2 cups each

Sand-Dollar Cookies

These tender and chewy cookies are requested by my Quin frequently. Maybe its because he dreams of going to the beach one day, and these cute little cookies are about as close as he is going to get to his beaching anytime soon. These would be a great cookie to serve at a beach themed gathering. We have the Friend magazine (July 2009) to thank for this cookie recipe.

Sand-Dollar Cookies
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
3 3/4 cup flour (I use 4 cups plus some. I think the dough is to runny without it)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, mixed with 3 Tablespoons

Mix the margarine and sugar together in a mixing bowl until creamy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and milk, and mix until smooth.
In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Add the flour mixture to the margarine mixture. Mix well.
Roll dough into small balls and place them on a cookie sheet. Dip the bottom of a drinking glass in four, and use it to press the balls of dough into circles about 1/4 inch think. Press 5 slivered almonds on each cookie so the look like sand dollars. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake the cookies at 375 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Chicken and Citrus Salad

The year I had my twins I remember falling in love with this salad. I love baby spinach and strawberry salads. Its a salad packed with vitamins A and C. As Spring approaches and I get my spring recipes out I am feeling like posting them even though I don't have a picture of them at the moment! Looking at all these fresh recipes is bringing the touch of sunshine I need on this gray and stormy day.

Chicken and Citrus Salad
4 cups each: Baby Spinach and Mixed Salad Greens
2 Cups sliced Strawberries
1 can (15 oz) Mandarin Oranges segments, drained
8 oz sugar snap peas, halved
1 pkg. (6 oz) Oven Roasted Chicken Breast cut in to strips
1/2 cup Pecans, Toasted
1/2 cup Raspberry Vinaigrette

Toss all ingredients in large bowl. Spoon onto plates.

Makes 4 servings.

Creamy Lemon Asparagus Risotto

So I did something totally crazy and ordered a case of asparagus to split with my sister-in-law. Not the brightest idea. While we love asparagus at our house. To much of a good thing might ruin it. So not wanting this to happen I have freely shared my asparagus with family and friends. My Neighbors are next on the list! If I had a pressure cooker to can this wonderfully young and tasty asparagus my purchase would have been a light more brilliant! I may still try to freeze a couple of pounds and see how it turns out!

So along with my asparagus I have many fresh herbs and other fresh produce that I need to create a menu around. Strangely it motivates me. Sometimes we use our tried and true recipe and other times I try something new. This basket is proving to be both. So today I share one that we have tried before.

I got this recipe years ago (1995 to be exact) from the Food and Family magazine that Kraft foods put out. This is a great springtime dish. It's easy, creamy, and it taste good. We don't usually use Minute Rice so I have to buy it for this recipe. I prefer regular rice to the minute variety, but I am not going to complain when a recipe turns out great and its fast!

(Picture to be posted later.... maybe :-D)
Creamy Lemon Asparagus Risotto
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cups Minute White Rice, uncooked
1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups chicken broth
2 Tablespoons cream cheese spread
Grated pee; and juice of one lemon

Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 2 minutes or until tender
Stir in rice, asparagus, and broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes.
Add cream cheese spread, peel and juice; stir until well blended.

Makes 6 Servings

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Basic Dough for Pizza, Breadsticks, and More!

I got this recipe from Emily S. recipe blog. We had homemade pizza last night. My family liked it. I loved the single rise aspect of this dough. It was perfect for us last night. I mixed it together and let it rise while we were at wrestling practice. When we came home we tossed the pizza together and dinner was served. One thing I need to remember for next is that I want to split the dough into 2 pizza's or pizza and a pan of bread sticks. I used it all in a large jelly-roll pan and the crust was nice and thick. I loved it that way but if I needed to stretch it out and make more I definitely think it could have been stretched. We will be making this again, but it hasn't replaced our all time favorite pizza dough, which takes 2 hours to produce. Great recipe! Thanks Emily for sharing.

Basic Dough-Pizza/Pita/Pretzel/Bread sticks

2 C. Warm Water
1 1/2 Tbsp. Yeast
2 Tbsp Sugar
2 tsp. salt
4-5 cups flour

Mix together until you have a sticky dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl. Let rise 1 hr. (this is the only rise that you have to do with this recipe)

Pitas: Roll small balls of dough into flat circles (about 8 inches), place in preheated oven (about 450) on a hot cookie sheet or baking stone. Bake for 3-5 min, they should puff up in the center, if they don't they work great to fold over.

Pizza: Roll out and top with your favorite pizza toppings, bake 20-25 min at 400 degrees or until bottom is crisp.

Pretzels: Roll into long, thin ropes and fold over to make pretzel shape. Dip in water mixture that is about 1 cup water, 2 tsp baking soda , sprinkle with salt and bake at 400 for about 10 min. Brush with butter and add more coarse salt if desired.

Bread sticks: Roll into 2 rectangles. Place on cookie sheet, brush with butter, garlic, salt, Parmesan cheese, and anything else you want. Cut in to strips. Bake at 400 for 20 or so min. Brush generously with melted butter again after removing from oven. Serve warm. :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

You Scream I Scream...Snow Ice Cream

Okay we are really ready for SPRING! When the sky started dumping the white stuff out all over again I felt like screaming NO! I am feeling a little cabin fever and cooped up to be quite honest. I love spring and fall and am really ready for them to take place again. This is one dish we wish we could have in those hot dog days of summer. My kids have waited over a year to have this fun and CHEAP ice cream treat! Enjoy it kiddo's because it might be another 365 Days before we get to enjoy it again!

My twins brought home a recipe from preschool last year and every time it snows they want to know if we can make "their snow recipe". When we got a fresh 10" of clean snow I couldn't resist making their dreams come true.

You need a large bowl of snow. This is a 32 cup bowl (Tupperware's largest)

We have a couple of recipes that we have tried so I am posting them both. This is an easy pantry dessert/treat. This ice cream is more like milk ice. Some people like it better than ice cream; to each is his own. May you find joy in these last few cold and snow storms of winter. Pray that spring will not be to far off! ENJOY!

Snow Cream

1 (12 oz) can Evaporated milk
1 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 BIG bowl of SNOW

Mix milk with sugar and vanilla. Pour over large bowl of snow and stir until mixture is thick and uniform in color. Serve it IMMEDIATELY!
* We also let the kids top it with a small drizzle of chocolate or strawberry topping.
Snow CREAM



Snow Ice Cream
8-12 cups snow
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract









Monday, February 14, 2011

A Bon Bon Treat (Cake Balls)


I have a friend who makes these for many special occasions. To me they are her signature treat. When I learned how easy they are to make, I decided to try it. I ended up making these little cake balls for the kids teachers and a few of my friends for Valentines Day. The cake part of it is easy and quick, but it is the dipping of them that takes time.

Cake Balls
1-Box Cake Mix, made according to package instructions (Flavor of Choice)
1-container Frosting (Flavor of Choice)
Vanilla or Chocolate Almond Bark

After the cake is baked and cooled. Crumble the cake and mix in the entire container of frosting. Space mixtures into small balls. Place on waxed paper and freeze. (This step makes it easier for me. The cake stays together better as I dip them, but it does set the chocolate faster which is a factor is your are wanting to add sprinkles.)
Melt your almond bark and dip individual balls into it, remove, and place on wax paper to set.
*I used a chocolate cake mix with a cream cheese frosting.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stir-fried Shrimp and Asparagus in Lemon Sauce


We all love asparagus at our home. The past several weeks we have gotten a pound of asparagus in our bountiful baskets. Every time I ask my kids what do you guys think I should make for dinner. Quin always responds quickly with a cheer SHRIMP! I have tried to tell him that we save shrimp for special occasion dinners because they can be expensive. He accepts this but it hasn't stopped him from putting in this request each time I inquire for a dinner suggestion. So for no special reason other than I needed an idea for dinner, we had all the ingredients for this stir-fry, and it was quick! What more could I ask for!! Call it a special occasion and get cook'n! (Reference: The Best Light Recipe cook book p.285)

Stir-Fried Shrimp and Asparagus in lemon Sauce
Serves 4-5
Let the Shrimp marinate as you make the sauce and prepare the vegetables.

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons dry sherry (I use the Sherry cooking whine found by the vinegars in the store)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 Scallions, white parts minced and green parts cut into 1/4-inch lengths (1/4 cup sweet onions minced)
5 teaspoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 lb asparagus, tough ends removed, sliced on the bias into 2-inch lengths
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks

Toss the shrimp with the soy sauce and sherry in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine garlic, ginger, scallion whites, and 2 teaspoons of the oil.

Heat 1 more teaspoon oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add the shrimp and coo, stirring occasionally until curled and bight pink, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a clean bowl.

Add 1 more teaspoon oil to the pan return to high heat until shimmering, Add the asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a clean bowl. Add the remaining teaspoon oil and carrots to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. REturn the asparagus to the pan.

Clear the center of the pan and add the garlic mixture. Cook, mashing the garlic mixture into the pan with the back of a spatula, until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Stir the garlic mixture into vegetables. Add the scallion greens and shrimp and toss to combine. Whisk the sauce to combine, then add it to the pan and bring to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and toss until the all the ingredients are well coated with sauce and sizzling hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

FOR the SAUCE:

LEMON SAUCE:
Makes enough for 1 stir-fry recipe
The flavors in this sauce are mild and work especially well with shrimp.

6 Tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup juice from 2 lemons
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I have been in one of my unmotivated, "I need something new, exciting, yet quick to cook!" modes. I snagged this recipe from the Pioneer Woman blog. It's nothing that new (I have a recipe similar for the crock pot, but different ingredients), but it is a nice change form the Taco (beef) Soup I make during the cold months. I really enjoyed it. I didn't use the whole corn tortillas. Remember I am unmotivated and lazy right now! I simply crunched corn chips into it-EASY! This recipe was easy but doesn't win the race for being the quickest start to finish.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
ADAPTED from Pioneer Women's blog (I've changed many of the spices)

2 Whole Boneless, skinless Chicken Breast
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup Diced Onion
1/4 cup Green Bell Pepper, diced
1/4 cup Red Bell Pepper, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes (Or use 1 can Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chilies)
1/2 (4 oz) can diced chilies (Omit if using the Rotel)
8 cups Chicken Broth (made with my chicken base or bouillon)
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
4 cups Hot Water (I left this out hoping to not need to simmer for reduction to save time)
2 cans Black Beans, Drained
5 Whole Corn Tortillas, cut into uniform strips around 2 to 3 inches {or Corn chips ;-)}

Garnishes:
Sour Cream
Diced Avocado
Diced Red Onion
Salsa or Pico De Gallo
Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
Cilantro

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix cumin, chili peppers, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle 1 Tablespoon olive oil chicken breast, then sprinkle a small amount of spice mix on both sides. Set aside the rest of the spice mix. Place chicken breast on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Use two forks to shred chicken. Set aside.

Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add onions, red peppers, green peppers, and minced garlic. Stir and begin cooking, then add the rest of the spice mix. Stir to combine, then add shredded chicken and stir. Pour in tomatoes, chilies, chicken stock, tomato paste, water, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes, uncovered.

Mix cornmeal with small amount of water. Pour into the soup, then simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Check seasonings adding more if needed--add more chili powder if it needs more spice, and be sure not to under salt. Turn off hear and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Five minutes before serving, gently stir in tortilla strips.

Ladle into bowls, then top with sour cream and your other favorite garnishes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cracked Wheat Blender Pancakes

I took this recipe from Jamie Cook's It Up blog. I was excited to try them because I don't have a grinder to use up all our wheat and it was exciting to think I could be resourceful with our supple. This recipe was enjoyed for dinner. I was also excited that my family liked them. It will be great to be able to make a comfort food that kids will eat if we are ever have to survive on our food storage. It's Healthy too. If you are not used to eating 100% whole grain ease into it so you don't end up with a tummy ache!

Cracked Wheat Blender Pancakes

Yield: 16 pancakes


1 C milk (I use 1%)

1 1/3 C wheat, whole kernels

2 eggs

1 T sugar

1/4 t salt

2 T canola oil

1 t baking soda

2 t baking powder


1. Pour milk and wheat into your blender. Liquefy for 4 minutes. Be sure you have a strong blender with a powerful motor.

2. While still mixing add egg, sugar, salt, oil and baking soda.

3. When the mixture is almost done blending add the baking powder.

4. Cook on a hot griddle.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup


Okay I admit it! I have not had the motivation to cook up a storm, make my menu, or anything of the sort! I have been preoccupied with house decisions and trying harder to focus on the things that matter most! Yep you guessed it my recipe blog becomes a low priority, but something I still enjoy so I am trying not to give it up completely. We all need a little pleasure in life right!

I finally got online and said that I was going to choose just a couple of recipes that might help jump start my enthusiasm for the kitchen duty again! I was looking for meals in 30 minutes or less or quick and simple meals. Does any one out there have some good standby's that they always go to when they are not wanting to spend all afternoon/evening in the kitchen? I would LOVE LOVE LOVE if you would share! (Yeah Linda I guess I am talking to you! LOL! You seem to be the only personal to leave me a comment from time to time. Thanks for checking on me. ;-) )

So I found another soup that is a keeper at my home. I got it off a blog who got it off a blog, etc. Then I modified it to my liking the original called for a ridiculous 4 cans of cream of chicken soups! I thought that was a little excessive. I cut it back the amount of canned soup and added more vegetables and it was a hit for my family. We like soups, so if you are soup loving like us you might enjoy this too.

Jill's Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

10 cups water
10 bullion cubes or 10 teaspoons Chicken Base (I love my ckn base. I buy it at Costco)
4 Chicken Boneless, skinless (You can start with it Frozen! LOVE IT!)
(I like a combo of white and dark so I use 2 boneless thighs and 4 chicken tenders--Costco chicken is my fav)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 boxes Rice a Roni Wild Rice flavor
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 small can stems and peices Mushrooms
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup

Fill your pot with water bring to a boil. Add chicken, onion, bullion, salt, and pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer about 25 minutes. Remove chicken pieces from the boiling broth after the 25 minutes. Use scissors or knife and cut or shred your chicken. Return chicken to the pot. The chicken should be cooked through.

Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms and boxes of rice (pour in the rice and seasoning packets that come along in the box). Cover and let simmer about 15 minutes more, until the veggies and rice are cooked.

Add the cream of chicken soups, turn up the heat and let it come to a boil. Once the soup is thickened (this takes just a few minutes after it comes to a boil again) it is ready to be served.

Serve it up with your favorite slice of bread and a side salad.