Monday, November 24, 2014

Best Ever Creamed Corn

We'd hardly had time to take a bite of our pre-Thanksgiving dinner last night when Owen exclaimed "Wow!" and gave me a high five across the table.

This corn is a must make, must eat, must keep on retainer kind of recipe.

  • 6 ounces PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9-inch baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  • Combine cream cheese, butter and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Stir in milk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in corn until well combined, about 2 minutes. Stir in thyme; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Spread corn mixture into the prepared baking dish; sprinkle with cheese. Place into oven and bake until bubbly, about 15-17 minutes.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Three Bowl Asian Noodles

No, it doesn't take 3 bowls to make the dish.  You'll just want to eat 3 bowls of it for a meal.

Forgive the stock photo, but I ate all of mine already and I'm not disturbing the leftovers in Linny's fridge to snap a picture.  I've never tempted homemade Chinese food and had it result in a success until now.  This recipe is very similar to a lo mein and I'm sure you could use whatever type of noodle you want.  I chose angel hair.


16 oz. dried pasta of choice
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup snow peas, washed and left whole
1 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped
5 green onions, chopped into 1" pieces
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped into 1" pieces

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sugar, and cayenne.  Mix until well combined.  Set aside.

While your pasta is boiling in salted water, combine all of the veggies in a large sautee pan with some cooking spray, season with salt and pepper, and cook until still crunchy.  You don't want your veggies to turn to mush.  Remove from heat if they finish cooking before the pasta does.

When pasta is cooked until al dente, drain and put back in pot.  Pour the soy sauce mixture on the hot noodles and mix until well coated.  Put pasta into serving bowl and top with veggies.

You can certainly add toasted sesame seeds like the picture/original recipe but I skipped them.  I also added chopped up pieces of some pre-cooked rotisserie chicken.  Next time, I'm adding more mushrooms and even bean sprouts...only because I like them.  But feel free to add whatever veggies you want.  I recommend the melange indicated above though.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tuna Salad From Heaven

There are no words. No words. Just make this.

1 lb mini bowtie pasta
1 cup frozen peas                                                  
2 5 oz cans of tuna in water, drained
1 red onion, chopped
4-5 baby dill pickles, chopped
1 tablespoon dried dill
1 cup lite mayo                                               
Juice of half a lemon                                        
Salt & pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except pasta and peas.

Cook pasta in salted water. When pasta is almost ready, add frozen peas and let cook for another 30 seconds.

Drain pasta and peas and rinse with cold water.

Add pasta to mayo mixture, stir well, and store, covered, in the refrigerator.

I serve mine atop chopped romaine.

This makes a ton of servings.  Beware, the dill flavor will intensify the longer it sits in your fridge.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Peanut Brittle

Peanut Brittle
  Here's the "story".  My dear dads 3rd wife made really good peanut brittle and wouldn't share her recipe saying it was a family secret.  After quite a long time she decided to pass it along to me and I began making it.  This is the recipe all the kids grew up chewing on at Christmas.  Well, several years later I found out her recipe was exactly, I repeat, exactly the same as the BHG coolbook.  Go figure.  That's "S" for you.
Peanut Brittle
2 c sugar 
1 c light-colored corn syrup 
1/2 c water 
1/4 c butter, no substitutes
2 1/2 c raw peanuts or other coarsely chopped nuts 
1 1/2 t baking soda, sifted

1. Butter 2 large baking sheets; set aside. Butter sides of a heavy 3-quart saucepan. In pan combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and butter. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring occasionally, until the thermometer registers 275 degrees F, soft-crack stage (about 30 minutes). Stir in nuts; continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until thermometer registers 295 degrees F, hard crack stage (15 to 20 minutes more).
2. Remove pan from heat; remove thermometer. Quickly sprinkle baking soda over mixture, stirring constantly. Immediately pour onto prepared baking sheets. Use 2 forks to lift and pull candy as it cools. Cool completely; break into pieces. Store tightly covered up to 1 month. Makes 2-1/4 pounds (72 servings).

Makes: 72 servings Yield: 2 1/4 pounds.  Prep 15 mins. Cook 45 mins to 50 mins.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The One and Only Family Favorite Chicken Salad Recipe

Chicken Salad

2 bags chicken breast (Costco approx. 20 pieces per bag)

3 bunches cleaned thinly sliced celery

3 c. sliced almonds

1 1/2 finely diced onions

lemon juice

1 ½ qt. - 2 qt. mayo

salt to taste

1 qt. whipping cream, whipped

100 cocktail size croissants

Simmer breasts in covered stockpot with water to cover until done. Cool and chop into small pieces. Slice and add celery, almonds, onions (if serving same day) and lemon juice (just sprinkle over, I never know how much I use). Mix in mayo just to hold together. Whip cream and fold into mixture. Season with salt. Makes approx. 100 cocktail sized croissants.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


. . . here are the Pinterest biscuits we made at our reunion. We made a quadruple batch and not a one was left over.
I still prefer my "from scratch" recipe but these are super good and so beat Bisquick biscuits!!!
Pinned Image

Bisquick, sour cream, 7up (any lemon/lime soda) and butter!.... These are excellent!!!!
So easy and soooo good!
(Just a note, I used diet, lemon/lime soda and "light" sour cream)
2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7-up
1/4 cup melted butter (come on, use BUTTER)
1. Cut sour cream into biscuit mix, add 7-Up. Makes a very soft dough.
2. Sprinkle additional biscuit mix on board or table and pat/roll dough out and cut (I kneaded a few times).
3. Melt 1/4 cup butter in a 9 inch square pan.
Place cut biscuits in pan and bake at 450 degrees until golden brown.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Per the fam's request, here is the recipe for the carrot cake we enjoyed for our Easter Feast! Recipe is found in Caprial's Desserts cookbook.

Carrot Cake:
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
4 cups finely shredded carrots
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 cups finely chopped pecans
3/4 cups shredded sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper; set aside.

Place the sugar and vegetable oil in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, until smooth and light, about 4 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing well after each addition. Add the shredded carrots and mix well. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and mix until smooth. Add the pecans and coconut, and mix well. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake until the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and let cool completely.

Split the cake layers, then fill and frost with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe to follow).

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 pounds powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Place the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on low speed just to combine the ingredients, then beat on high speed, occasionally stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl, until very light, fluffy and smooth, about 7 minutes.

Friday, December 30, 2011


Coconut Syrup

7-8 T butter
3/4 c buttermilk
1 c sugar
1/2 t baking soda
1 t coconut extract

Place butter, buttermilk and sugar in a sauce pan. Over medium heat stir until sugar is dissolved and butter melted. Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and add baking soda and extract. It will bubble up - just continue to stir and give it a few minutes for the "fizz" to reduce before serving.

Cinnamon Syrup

1 c sugar
1/2 c light corn syrup
1/4 c water
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 c whipping cream

In medium sauce pan stir all ingredients together EXCEPT cream. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cream. Cool 30 minutes, Syrup will thicken as it cools. Serve warm.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chocolate Mousse Pie

Chocolate Mousse Pie

7 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 c. miniature marshmallows
1/2 c. milk
2 c. heavy whipping cream, add 1 t. vanilla before whipping
1 9" pie crust (graham cracker or chocolate crumb or pastry shell baked)


1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the chocolate chips, marshmallows and milk over low heat until chocolate is melted and marshmallows have "disappeared" and mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. BE PATIENT AS THIS TAKES TIME.

2. COOL to room temperature. It will cool faster if you remove pan from heat and place on a cooling rack so air can get under it and cool faster.

3. Whip cream and vanilla. Gently fold into chocolate mixture; pour into crust (cooled crust of course). Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Refrigerate leftover.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

No Knead Bread

No Knead Bread Recipe

Servings: One 1-pound loaf

*I tried this first in November 2011 while in PA with the family. Making it again since I liked it so much. I love having another reason to use my cast iron Dutch oven! I will also add that though the recipe says this is a wet dough it seemed too wet for me and I added additional flour...who knows how much??? I found it hard to shape into a round loaf. These directions and photos I got off Pinterest and you can go here to see more info.

No Knead Bread Recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman of NY Times who got it from Sullivan Street Bakery. When the recipe first came out, it was the blogging community who took the bread to new heights, especially Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Bread Bible. I followed Rose's experiments through the weeks and learned from her recipe adjustments and the why's of how this bread works.


3 cups bread flour (I like Harvest King bread flour)
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon fine table salt (or 3/4 tablespoon of kosher salt)
1 1/2 cups warm water

Covered pot (five-quart or larger cast iron, Pyrex, ceramic, enamel...something that can go into a 450F oven.)


1. Mix dough: The night before, combine all ingredients in a big bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. It will be a shaggy, doughy mess. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 12-20 hours on countertop.

2. Shape & preheat: The dough will now be wet, sticky and bubbly. With a wet spatula, dump the dough on a floured surface. Fold ends of dough over a few times with the spatula and nudge it into a ball shape. You can use your hands if you like, just keep your hands wet so that the dough does not stick. Generously dust a cotton towel (not terrycloth) with flour. Set dough seam side down on top of towel. Fold towel over the dough. Let it nap for 2 hours. When you've got about a half hour left, slip your covered pot into the oven and preheat to 450F.

3. Bake: Your dough should have doubled in size. Remove pot from oven. Holding towel, turn over and dump wobbly dough into pot, using your hands to get the dough off the towel. Doesn't matter which way it lands. Shake to even dough out. Cover. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake another 15-20 minutes or until the crust is beautifully golden and middle of loaf is 210F. Remove and let cool on wired rack. If not eating right away, you can re-crisp crust in 350F oven for 10 minutes. Best way to eat it? Smear a warm slice with some good butter (Kerrygold and Lurpac are both found in your grocery stores, usually on top shelf)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Lemon Curd

Lemon Curd

2/3 c. fresh lemon juice
1 c. sugar
5 well beaten eggs
1/2 c. melted butter (no substitute), cooled slightly

In glass/microwavable bowl:
Mix together well the juice, sugar and eggs.
Slowly beat in the cooled butter.

Microwave 4 to 6 minutes stirring every minute until thickened. Time depends on your oven's strength.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup
Olive oil
1 pound ground mild Italian sausage
1 small-medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (scant)
1 can tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tsp crushed basil
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
8 oz (half a package) small pasta (not precooked)

Cheese Topping
mix together:
8 oz Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
Sprinkle over soup and topping:
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat a stock pot over med-high heat and add 2 Tbsp olive oil. Heat for a minute then add the onion and saute until soft. Add garlic and crumble the ground beef, cooking until no longer pink. Drain. Return meat to the pot and add tomato sauce, oregano, red pepper flakes and stir until well incorporated. Cook for about five minutes.

Add chicken stock, bay leaves and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook to al dente. Do not overcook or let the soup simmer at this point as the pasta will get mushy.

As the pasta is cooking prepare the cheese topping. Mix all ingredients, except mozzarella, together and set aside.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls, add a dollop of cheese topping and sprinkle mozzarella on top.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Peasant Bread

Peasant Bread

1½ c. warm water

1 ½ t. salt

2 T. sugar

2 T. butter or olive oil

4 c. flour

2 t. yeast

Place above ingredients (in order given or according to your machines instructions) into bread pan and mix on “Dough “ cycle. When completed, remove from pan, knead to expel air and form into a 1 or 2 ball(s). Place on a greased (or vegetable sprayed) baking sheet. I like to let my dough rise in a warm oven by turning the oven on for 1 minute then turning it off. It takes approximately 45 minutes to double in size. Remove from oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake 20-30 minutes or till done. When done, remove from oven, place on rack and rub butter on outside and cover with a cloth till cooled. Happy eating.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yeast Rolls

The Spicery’s Rolls - a restaurant in downtown Glendale, Arizona

1 1/2 c. boiling water

1/2 c. margarine (or butter)

1 1/2 t. salt

1 c. sugar

1 1/2 c. additional water (not boiling)

6 oz. evaporated milk (small can)

1/4 c. yeast (that is correct)

9 1/8 cups flour

Makes 3 dozen large rolls.

In a large bowl, pour boiling water over margarine. Add salt and sugar and stir well. When margarine is melted, mix in additional water. Stir in evaporated milk and yeast. Let bubble. Slowly add flour. Turn out on a floured board and knead about 10 minutes. Next, grease a large bowl thoroughly, put the dough in it and turn it over so the surface will be greased. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, punching down twice, about 1 hour. Form into dinner rolls, let rise until doubled. Preheat oven to 375* 20 minutes before baking. Bake for 20 minutes. Makes 36 rolls. (These rolls are HUGE! I made these for preschool, but didn't have time for them to "double in size". They were still good. Very sweet compared to my dinner rolls.)

msk notes: after forming into rolls place in buttered pans, cover with tea towels to rise in warm location.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Orange Proscuitto Pasta

I found this recipe on The Bitten Word via The Kitchn and had to try it. This dish may be my new favorite...


* Kosher salt
* 12 oz. egg tagliatelle or fettuccine (I used fetuccine)
* 2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
* 2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into 1" pieces
* Zest and juice of 1 orange
* 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 1 minute before al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto; sauté until browned, about 3 minutes.

Add reserved pasta water (I forgot to add the pasta water--still turned out great), orange juice, orange zest, and cream; bring to a boil. Add pasta; cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and divide among warm bowls. Garnish with remaining zest.

(Then stuff your face.)


Monday, April 18, 2011

Creamy Buttermilk Dressing

Spent a lovely evening pool-side at Grammy and Grandpa's. It was especially a treat to have Aunt Cindy here! We dined on Barro's Pizza, dipping our crusts (and a few veggies, too) in this dressing. Trust me, it would make cardboard taste good!

1 cup reduced-fat mayo

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup 1% buttermilk
2 green onion stalks
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Place all in a blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sugar Cookies

This is my tweaked version of an online recipe for the Para*dise Bak*ery sugar cookies.

1 c. sugar
1 c. powdered sugar
3 sticks butter
1 stick margarine
3/4 t. vanilla
1 lrg. beaten egg
4 1/3 c. flour
3/4 t. baking soda
3/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 375*
1. cream butter, marg. and sugars.
2. Mix on low speed 30 seconds then scrape down bowl.
3. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
4. Add vanilla and egg and mix.
5. In separate bowl mix together well the dry ingredients.
6. On low speed gradually add dry to creamed mixture. DO NOT OVER MIX.
7. Roll into balls (flour hands if necessary). Approx ping pong ball size and place on baking sheet.
8. Flatten with a flat bottomed glass dipped in granulated sugar.
9. Bake at 375* for 9-10 minutes. Do not brown edges.

Thin Chocolate Icing
3 T. cocoa powder
2 T. melted butter
2 T. hot water
1 c. powdered sugar (approx.)

Mix all together. I put frosting into a baggie with the corner snipped off and then just pipped stripes across the cookies.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Here's one of the traditional family cookies baked at Christmas. I think these are only good if made with BUTTER. Use anything else and you might as well not eat or serve them. Ooh, that's so severe.


1 c. butter
1/2 c. sifted confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
1 t. vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. finely chopped nuts (I use pecans, nuts optional)

Mix butter, sugar and vanilla thoroughly. Stir flour and salt together and mix into butter mixture. Mix in nuts. Chill dough.

Heat oven to 400*. Roll dough into 1" balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Cookies do not spread. Bake 10-12 min. or until set but not brown. While still warm, roll in confectioners' sugar. Cool. Roll in sugar again.

Makes about 4 doz. 1" cookies.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gingerbread Cookies

This is a delightful, light, buttery cookie with a wonderful hint of orange zest. The recipe came from Aunt Shauna.

I hope you'll try it.

Kids, this is the recipe I always made when you were young'uns.

Gingerbread Cookies

1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
4 t. grated orange peel (zest)
2 T. dark corn syrup
3 c. flour
2 t. soda
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground clove
1/2 t. salt

Cream butter & sugar.
Add egg; beat well.

Add orange peel, corn syrup and mix.

Sift together all dry ingredients then stir into creamed mixture.

Chill thoroughly.

Roll 1/4" thick on floured surface and cut into desired shapes. Place 1" apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake 8-10 minutes in preheated 375* oven.

Cool before removing from sheets.

Makes 2 doz. approximately.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pork Shoulder in a Backyard Smoker

I must give credit to Pat L for showing me this set-up to cook/smoke a perfect pork shoulder for pulled-pork sandwiches.


1 Pork Shoulder (7-8lbs will do): Try to get the entire pork shoulder that includes the front leg and shoulder bone from the pig. Some grocers divide the shoulder into the Boston Butt and the Picnic cut.
1 cup of dry rub seasoning. I've used an assortment of recipes found on various smoking/bbq sites. They usually have in common:
chili powder
brown sugar
fresh ground pepper

I've enjoyed the roasts the most that have the rub applied the night before, and the roast is wrapped in plastic and refrigerated.
The temp is regulated by a hotplate resting at the bottom of the smoker. A small kettle with the wood chunks rests on top of the hotplate. The wood used (provided by Pat) is from local fruit trees. Cook for 6-8 hours at a temp of 220 degrees. I rotate the roast about halfway through. The last couple of hours I transfer the roast to a dutch over and cook in the oven at 220 until the internal temp is about 180-190.
At that point, the meat should easily separate with a fork and is ready to eat. Slathered in sauce in a bun.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tart Dough

In bowl with electirc mixer mix:

1 1/2 stick BUTTER, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. lemon zest (opt.)

Add and mix:
1 3/4 c. flour
2 T. milk

Roll into balls. Place in tart pans (I used mini cupcake pans). Mold with fingers to fit.

Bake @ 355* for 7-9 minutes or until just starting to brown (barely).

Cool 5 minutes then remove from pans to cooling rack.

5 qt. water
3 c. sugar
1 T lemon extract
1 T citric acid
3 sliced lemons
1/2 pkg. ice

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

I never liked pumpkin pie as a kid. When I started making it for Thanksgiving I started adding more spices than traditional recipes called for and fell in love with a spicy pie that the entire family loves too. Hope you'll give this a try.

MarySue/Mom’s Pumpkin Pie

2 unbaked 9" pie shells or 3 8" shells

4 eggs, beaten

1 can (29 oz.) canned pumpkin

1 1/2 c. sugar

1 t. salt

2 1/2 t. cinnamon

2 t. ginger

1 t. cloves

½ - 1 t. nutmeg (freshly grated preferred)

2 cans (12 oz.) evaporated (not condensed) milk

1. Prepare pie shells

2. Preheat oven to 425*

3. Beat eggs with wire whisk in large mixing bowl. Add pumpkin and mix well. Do not make frothy or bubbly.

4. In separate bowl combine sugar, salt and spices. Blend well. Stir into pumpkin mixture.

5. Add evap milk, mix well but no bubbles.

6. Pour equally into shells

7. Bake for 15 minutes at 425* then reduce temperature to 350* and bake an additional 40-50 minutes or until done. Test for doneness by inserting a knife near center, done if knife comes out clean. Do not under-bake

8. Cool on wire racks; air needs to circulate under pans. May put pie pans on 2 wooden spoon handles to cool also.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tortilla Chips

I had a TON of leftover corn tortillas from making chicken enchiladas for Sunday dinner, so I thought I'd try out homemade tortilla chips to go with my salsa. They're easier than I thought, but deadly good.

Tortilla Chips

Corn tortillas cut into wedges
1/2" oil for frying
sugar/cinnamon mixture

Heat oil in a fry pan until it reaches roughly 375 degrees. Carefully drop tortilla wedges into the oil. I let mine go for about 45 seconds on each side and then removed with a slotted spoon. Allow to dry on a sheet pan lined with paper towels. Immediately sprinkle with salt or cinnamon/sugar mixture.


Let me preface this post by saying that this is my year to try new things. In kindergarten, my student teacher brought in guacamole one day as she was talking to us about Mexico. I tried it, didn't like it, and have found all sorts of disgusting things to compare it to. Don't worry, I'll spare you the gross details of the comparissons. Not too long ago, I had guacamole in something....don't remember what....and liked it. Tonight, I'm making my chicken enchiladas and salsa for someone and he requested guacamole. If I don't like a food, I don't make it or even know how to make it. Period. End of story. But Susie Homemaker that I am decided to try her hand at guacamole, especially now that I like the stuff. Guacamole is quite possibly the easiest thing to make. My local grocery store had ripe avocados on sale so I hit up the store without the foggiest of ideas about what exactly goes into guacamole. Here's what I came up with!


1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 roma tomato, chopped
1 small clove of garlic, finely minced
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
2 T red onion, chopped
2 T cilantro, chopped
squeeze of lime juice
pinch of coarse salt

Combine avocado, garlic, jalapeno, onion, and cilantro in a bowl. Mash together (I used a whisk) without completely obliterating the avocado. Once everything is combined, with a rubber scraper, fold in tomatoes, lime juice, and salt to taste. The lime juice well keep the avocado from darkening from air exposure, but I recommend serving this promptly after making it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Gateway Cookie

Most girls have been told, at one time or another, that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Well, I'm getting older, I'm a darn good cook, and I haven't snagged a man yet. So I'm starting to doubt the validity of that statement. Recently, a man told me the truth. "The way to a man's heart is through a good chocolate chip cookie recipe." So, here is the recipe. I'm calling them The Gateway Cookie. Enjoy
The Gateway Cookie
1 cup salted butter--softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup flour (for higher altitudes, add an extra 1/4 c.)
1 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 360 degrees.
Cream butter and sugars, until nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs, vanilla extract, and beat for another 2 minutes.
Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, pudding mix, and flour, and mix until dough comes together.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spoon dough onto cookie sheet. Bake for 11 minutes.
Original recipe courtesy of Geoff Dyer.

Monday, June 28, 2010

BBQ Sauce

I had SO much fun playing around with this recipe for my Sunday Family BBQ, and hope everyone enjoyed eating it as much as I enjoyed making it.
BBQ Sauce
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp celery seed
2/3 cup lemon juice
4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup horseradish (I use Morehead prepared horseradish, 4 oz. jar)
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
1 12-oz bottle chili sauce (found in the ketchup/condiment aisle)
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 20-oz bottle ketchup
Melt butter in a medium sauce pan.
Finely chop garlic, or grate using a microplane, and add to melted butter.
Stir in remaining ingredients.
Simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes, until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
The sauce doesn't have a smooth texture like a normal bottled sauce would. The horseradish and celery seeds add a little texture, so don't worry if it doesn't look like a typical BBQ sauce.

Friday, June 25, 2010


I absolutely LOVE coleslaw. Besides watermelon, there's nothing that screams "SUMMER!!!!" more than coleslaw at a picnic. This rocks. Coleslaw
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp honey
16 oz bag of coleslaw mix
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the coleslaw mix. (This can be done in advance, simply cover and refrigerate until ready to use).Place the coleslaw mix in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the coleslaw mix. Stir to combine and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Serves 8-10.
*I found that I liked it better the second day. Next time I make this, I think I'll make the coleslaw the day before I serve it. I've also made this with a grainy mustard. Instead of 2 Tbsp, use 3-4 Tbsp.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas with Cilantro Lime Rice

I normally make this recipe on a much larger scale, even making about 7 batches of this one Sunday in college for a group of hungry boy visitors, so I'll try to scale it down. Heck, there isn't even a real recipe, just a mixture of goodness stored in my head. This recipe will easily work with Turkey, and I'll also used shredded carnitas. So here it goes! I don't have any pictures, but a lot of the family has eaten this and can vouch for just how good it is.

Trust me, you'll never go back to that gross canned enchilada sauce once you try these.

3 cups shredded chicken
1 can refried black beans
1 large jar of salsa
1 can corn
4 green onions, chopped (reserve a small amount for a garnish)
1 small can diced green chiles
4 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 package medium sized corn tortillas, room temperature

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large pan, pour 1/3 jar of salsa on the bottom.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, refried black beans, 1/3 jar salsa, corn, onions, chiles, and 3 cups cheese. Mix well. I mix by hand. It's more fun that way.
Fill individual tortillas with small handfulls of chicken mixture.
Roll the tortillas around the mixture, and place rolled side down in the pan. If you find that the tortillas are breaking, make sure they aren't cold from the refrigerator. Microwave for a few seconds.
Once the pan is filled with enchiladas, cover with remaining salsa and top with cheese.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes or until bubble.
Remove aluminum foil cover and allow to bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown a little.
Sprinkle chopped green onions over the top before serving.

Cilantro Lime Rice
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped
zest of 1 lime
Juice of 3 limes
3 T. butter
2 cups rice
2 cups water (You'll need more or less, depending on how much juice you get from the limes)
Salt to taste

In a sauce pan, melt butter and add chopped onion.
When the onion is half-way cooked, add rice, and coat with butter. Let the rice start to absorb the butter and onion flavor for just about a minute.
To the lime juice, add enough water to equal 3 cups. Add to rice.
Cover and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed by the rice.
Before serving, add the lime zest, and chopped cilantro.
Salt to taste. I like to salt it afterwards to check the flavor contrast with the citrus and cilantro.

*If you don't want to do a traditional rolled enchilada, this recipe works great for an enchilada casserole. Layer salsa, tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese on top of one another, like a lasagna. Follow the same baking directions.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cinnamon and lime chicken fajitas

This is a new favorite of ours.. found it on but added a few things of my own.

Cinnamon and lime chicken fajitas:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (or more, I was very generous with the cinnamon)
kosher salt and pepper to taste
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup corn
1 lime, juiced
sour cream
corn/flour tortillas, warmed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Place potatoes in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with about 1/2 the oil, and season with salt. Bake 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until tender.
Meanwhile, season chicken with cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a separate baking dish, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until no longer pink and juices run clear. Cool and shred.
Heat remaining oil in a skillet over medium heat, and saute onion and garlic until tender. Mix in shredded chicken, black beans, corn, cayenne pepper, and lime juice. Cook until heated through.
Serve the chicken and potatoes in warmed tortillas, topped with sour cream. Enjoy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Faux Spaghetti

The carb lover in me is trying to cut back with some fun alternatives. I got my inspiration from CuisineNie and added my own Dori flare to it.

Faux Spaghetti
2 spaghetti squash
2 zucchini, cut in half, lengthwise, and then thinly sliced
½ yellow onion, chopped
½ Roma tomato, chopped
1 package Jenny-O Ground Turkey
Olive oil
Italian Seasoning
Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out seeds.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place cut side down on baking sheet. Cover skin with aluminum foil, and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until squash is tender to the touch.
Chop onion and sauté until partially cooked.
Add package of turkey and add salt, pepper, Italian Seasoning, rosemary, and basil. Cook over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add zucchini, cover, and cook on medium low until zucchini is cooked through.
Once squash is cooked, use two forks to shred the interior into long strands. Sprinkle with a little more salt and parmesan cheese.
Serve turkey and veggie mixture hot over squash. Top with chopped fresh tomato and parmesan cheese.

This will probably make 4 1-cup servings.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Refrigerator Bran Muffins

This makes a lot with the intent you refrigerate a large portion to bake during the coming week. Thanks to dear sister Cindy for finding this old favorite and sending it along. Cindy adds the fruit and nuts just before baking to prevent any additives getting soggy.

Cream together in large bowl:
1 stick butter (1/4 c.)
1 1/2 c. sugar ( I used a tad less)
2 eggs

Sift together:
2 1/2 c. flour
2 1/2 t. baking soda

Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternating portions with:
2 c. butter milk (I used soured regular milk)

1 c. Nabisco Bran cereal
1 c. boiling water-let stand 1 minute. Add to above mixture and blend well.

Fold in:
2 c. Kellogs All Bran
1/2 t. salt
your choice of nuts, seeds and dried fruit or fresh blueberries.

Spoon mixture into papered muffin tin.

Bake at 400* 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Utah's Famous Lion House Rolls

Lion House Dinner Rolls
2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk (instant or non-instant)
2 tablespoons dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup butter, shortening, or margarine
1 egg
5 to 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour, or bread flour

Method:In large bowl or electric mixer, combine water and milk powder; stir until milk dissolves. Add yeast, then sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups flour. Mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then for 2 minutes at medium speed.

Add 2 cups flour; mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then for 2 minutes at medium speed. (Dough will be getting stiff and remaining flour may need to be mixed in by hand). Add about ½ cup flour and mix again, by hand or mixer.

Dough should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff (It is not necessary to use the entire amount of flour). Scrape dough off sides of bowl and pour about one tablespoon of vegetable oil all around sides of bowl. Turn dough over in bowl so it is covered with oil. (This helps prevent dough from drying out).

Cover with plastic and allow to rise in warm place until double in size, about 45 minutes.

Scrape dough out onto floured board. Turn dough over so it is floured on both sides; gently flatten to about 1 inch thick. With rolling pin, roll out to a rectangle about 18 inches long, 8 inches wide, and ¼ inch thick. Brush with melted butter. With pizza cutter or very sharp knife, cut dough in half to make two strips about 4 inches wide. Make cuts through strips of dough every 2 inches, making about 18 pieces of dough.Starting with short end, roll up one piece of dough, with butter on the inside. Place roll on parchment-lined pan with other short end down on the paper. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Be sure all rolls face the same direction on baking pan.

Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until double in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes, or until light to medium golden brown. Brush tops of rolls with melted butter.

Serve with Honey Butter (recipe below). Makes 1 to 1 ½ dozen rolls.

Helpful Tips for Making RollsAlways add flour gradually and keep dough as soft as you can handle. A soft dough will produce a lighter roll.It is not necessary to use the entire amount of flour called for in the recipe—add only enough flour to make dough manageable.

To shorten dough's rising time, use one of these methods: 1) When dough is thoroughly mixed, oil bowl and cover dough with plastic wrap. Fill sink or larger bowl with about 2 inches of hot water or enough water to come about half or three-fourths the way up outside the dough bowl. Place bowl of dough in bowl of water and allow to rise until double in size.2) Just before mixing dough, turn oven on lowest possible temperature. Place a pan of hot water on bottom oven rack. When dough is thoroughly mixed, place in oiled bowl. Cover dough with plastic wrap; place in oven. Turn oven off, shut oven door, and allow dough to rise until double in size, about 50 to 60 minutes. Shape or cut into desired rolls. Place rolls on greased or parchment-lined pans and allow to rise until double in size. Bake according to recipe.Brush top of rolls with butter when first taken from oven.

How to consistently make attractive, good-tasting rolls? Practice! Practice! Practice!

Honey Butter
½ cup butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup honey
Method:Whip softened butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and honey gradually. Beat until very fluffy). Makes 1 cup.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Vanilla Syrup

This is Annette's fabulous recipe! Thanks, Boo!

Melt 1/2 cup butter in saucepan. Add and heat 1/2 cup buttermilk or milk, 1 cup sugar and 1.5 teaspoons vanilla. While stirring, bring to a gentle boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Enjoy!

image credit

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Tuscany Cookies

Preheat oven to 325*
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper

1 c. flour
1/2 c. cornstarch
1 t. snipped fresh rosemary
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. butter softened
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1/4 t. almond extract*
1/4 c. orange marmalade
powdered sugar for dusting

1. In small bowl stir together flour-cornstarch-rosemary and salt; set aside. In medium mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed 30 seconds. Add 1/3 c. powdered sugar and almond extract and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and beat until combined. Wrap and chill dough 1 hour** or until easy to handle.

2. Line 2 baking sheets (I used only 1) with parchment paper set aside. Shape dough into 24 - 1 1/4" balls. Arrange 2" apart on prepare baking sheets. Use thumb to make indentations in each cookie. Spoon about 1/2 t. marmalade into center of each.

3. Bake 14 minutes or until edges are lightly golden. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets. Remove and cool completely on wire racks. Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar to serve.

*the recipe called for a few drops of almond but I added 1/4 t. and recommend that
**the dough was too cold and stiff at 1 hr.-30 minutes should be fine.