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.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sticky Buns

Sticky Buns
AKA Butterscotch Bundt Rolls

18 frozen dinner rolls
1 (3 oz) package butterscotch pudding (not instant)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. melted butter

Arrange frozen rolls in a well greased Bundt pan ( I think an angel food cake pan would also work). Sprinkle pudding mix, brown sugar and pecans over rolls. Drizzle butter over all. Cover pan with greased waxed paper and then a kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature overnight or about 11-12 hours. Remove waxed paper and towel. Bake in preheated 350* oven about 25 minutes. Cool 5-10 minutes before inverrting to a serving plate. Serve warm. Makes 18 rolls.

(recipe from Julie Badger Jensen, Essential Mormon Cookbook, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003, p. 5)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Emerald Isle Salad

Dori just requested this so thought I should put it here for all you kids. Now I'm thinking I might make this for Easter dinner. It really is so springy on a lettuce leaf.

Emerald Isle Salad
4 c. liquid (juice drained from canned pineapple plus water to equal 4 c.)
1 lrg. lime gelatin
1 lrg. lemon gelatin
2 c. crushed pineapple (well drained)
2 c. mayonnaise
2 c. cottage cheese
2 c. evaporated milk
2 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Put both gelatins in large bowl. Heat liquid to simmer then pour over gelatin and stir until completely dissolved. Allow to partially set (use your best judgement). Whip with beaters then fold in all remaining ingredients. Put in 9X13" pan. Refrigerate untill completely set.

I think this recipe does not sound inviting but if you liked it as a kid you still will.