Saturday, December 26, 2009

Easy Breakfast Pull-apart Orange Rolls

This is a favorite Christmas morning tradition at our house. These are great because they are easily put together the night before and then, in the morning you just bake them and enjoy them. I adapted this recipe from one that used cinnamon and sugar, but since I can't eat cinnamon, I came up with this orange roll version. I hope you enjoy it!

  This is what it looks like when you first put them in the pan with the orange sauce over the frozen rolls.
This is what it looks like in the morning when you wake up and they are risen to the top of the pan.

This is what they look like after baking, before being taken out of the pan.


This is the finished product: hot pull-apart orange rolls with very little effort!


Pull-apart Orange Rolls


24 frozen rolls (I like Rhodes)
3/4 c sugar
1 cube butter (melted)
1 TBSP fresh grated orange rind


Place the rolls in a bundt pan. Mix the remaining ingredients together and warm in the microwave until the sugar begins to dissolve. Pour over the frozen rolls and cover with foil or plastic wrap. Let rise for 8 hours (overnight) in cold oven. In the morning, remove from the oven, preheat to 350 degrees, remove foil and bake for 30 minutes on a lower rack in the oven. Let cool for about 5 minutes before turning out upside down onto a plate.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fresh Apple Pancakes

When my daughter was in high school, she and her girlfriends went on a trip to St. George to stay in our family condo and I was the chaperon. They were all very domestic and did all the cooking. This is what they fixed for breakfast. It was so good! I REALLY liked them, especially the syrup - it is so fresh tasting with the lemon juice and apple juice. It's another family favorite. I highly recommend this recipe! Fresh Apple Pancakes

2 eggs
2 c milk
4 TBSP oil
2 c flour
2 TBSP sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ c grated tart apple ( I like Granny Smith)

Mix all pancake ingredients, except apples. Stir in apples last.

Apple Syrup:

1 c sugar
2 TBSP cornstarch
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 c apple juice
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
¼ c butter

Stir together sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Add apple juice and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute. Remove and stir in butter.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Beef Strogonoff

This is a recipe that I grew up having for Sunday dinners. It is my daughter Rachel's favorite. She would request it for every birthday. Since she is here for Christmas, we had it tonight since she won't be here for her birthday. The house smelled so good all afternoon! It is so yummy.
Oven Strogonoff
2 lbs stew meat
1 can french onion soup in beef broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small onion diced
3/4 c water
1 c sour cream
Brown the stew meat. Combine the soups, onion and water with the browned meat and put into a baking dish. Cover and bake 2 1/2 hours at 350 degrees. Remove cover and bake for 1 more hour with cover off. (Add a little water if needed)
When ready to serve, stir in the 1 c sour cream.
Serve over rice or egg noodles.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Guacamole (Healthy Style)

Years ago, my niece's husband - Trevor- returned from serving a mission in Mexico and came back with this wonderful recipe for guacamole. I ate SO much of it the first time I had it. I have made it many times since. I like it because everything in it is healthy - and oh so delicious! The lime juice makes it taste very fresh.
Guacamole

5 ripe avocados
juice of 2 large limes
3/4 of a white onion finely chopped
3/4 - 1 bunch of cilantro finely chopped
1 - 2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 large tomato chopped (or a handful of grape tomatoes chopped)
I chop the onion and cilantro together in my food processor. Mash the avocados and add the lime juice. Stir in the other ingredients and adjust to your taste. (The lime juice keeps the avocado from turning brown) Serve with tortilla chips.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Cranberry Cake

This cake has been a Christmas tradition for many years at our neighborhood progressive dinner. The dessert course is always at our house, and one year I tried something different for dessert, and there was a revolt! So, last night we had our party and the Cranberry Cake was there once again. It's officially Christmas!! The cake is VERY low fat and a little tart, but the sauce is very HIGH fat and sweet and together the are delicious!



Christmas Cranberry Cake


Cake:
3 TBSP butter
1½ c sugar
1½ c milk
3 c flour
4 ½ tsp baking powder
A dash of salt
18 oz (1 ½ bags) fresh cranberries

Sauce:
2 cubes butter
2 c sugar
1 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla

Cake: Cream butter and sugar, then add milk and mix together.  Wisk together flour, baking powder and salt and add to mixture. Fold in cranberries. Bake in greased bunt pan at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Let cake cool for 5 – 10 minutes then remove from bundt pan. Let cool and top with sauce


Sauce: Melt butter and add other ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Do not boil.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

English Toffee

This is a great - pretty easy - candy to make. It makes a lot and is SOOO yummy! My daughter-in-law and I made 6 batches today. The smells alone in our house could make you put on a few pounds!



English Toffee
adapted from Randy Judd of Xocolate

2 1/2 c sugar
1 pound butter
1/4 c water
1/4 c light corn syrup
1/2 c finely chopped almonds
1 bag of milk chocolate chips

Preparation:
Combine butter, sugar, corn syrup and water in a 4-5 quart pan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until butter is melted, sugar is dissolved and mixture starts to boil. At a rolling boil, reduce heat to medium and stop stirring. Let cook (about 30 minutes) until mixture reaches 290 degrees (this is the temperature at our elevation along the Wasatch Front, if you live elsewhere, it is 300 degrees at sea level - you can adjust accordingly). Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet and allow to cool about 30 minutes. (I found out through experience that if you don't allow it to cool the full time, the chocolate doesn't stick to the toffee)

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds until they are melted and smooth. Spread on top of the cooled toffee. Sprinkle with the chopped almonds and allow to cool completely. Break the toffee into pieces using a butter knife, and store in an airtight container. Yields about 2 1/2 pounds of YUMMY toffee.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Green Salad with Almonds and Orange Dressing

This is a great salad to have during the winter months, because it uses oranges and jicama and things that are found in the winter. I had a little bit of a hard time finding jicama, but found some beautiful ones at the Mexican market near our home.


Green Salad with Almonds and Orange Dressing

1 large head leaf lettuce, washed, dried and chilled
1 medium red onion, sliced into rings
1 11-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
1 small jicama peeled and cut into julienne (matchstick sized) strips
4 ounces sliced almonds
3 TBSP sugar

Orange Dressing:

½ tsp grated orange peel
1/3 c. fresh orange juice
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
½ c. vegetable oil
2 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP Good Seasons dry Italian dressing mix

Place first 4 ingredients in a salad bowl; chill. In a small skillet sprinkle 3 TBSP sugar over the almonds and cook over medium heat until almonds are coated and sugar has dissolved. (They brown quickly; do not burn.) Place in a small bowl and allow to cool.

Mix dressing in a shaker jar; chill. Pour salad dressing over chilled salad and sprinkle sugared almonds over all. Toss and serve.

Sesame Green Beans

This is a long-standing staple at our house. I love fresh green beans, and now you can get them just about year round at Costco ( I should get a bonus for always plugging them-shouldn't I?). I steam them for about 10 minutes at the most - just till they are tender- not mushy. SO good!


Sesame Green Beans
adapted from Lion House Lite Cookbook

2 c. (about 1 pound) fresh or frozen green beans
½ tsp salt
2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP sesame seeds

Wash green beans and snip ends. Cook in boiling salted water or steam them until just tender. Drain
In a small frying pan, toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until barely golden brown. Remove from heat and add the butter. It is usually hot enough to melt the butter, but you can keep it on the heat if needed to melt the butter. Stir in the soy sauce. Pour over cooked green beans.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Coconut Macaroons

OK, I have been waiting to post this recipe ever since I started this blog, but we have been trying to be good and not have treats - but it is a holiday this week and I think we need cookies!


I was on a quest to find the perfect coconut macaroon cookie. I tried every possible variation and recipe I could find. Some had a strange texture, some had a fake almond taste. I finally stumbled on this recipe and I was SO excited! I think it is the perfect coconut macaroon. The original recipe called for a canned soft almond paste, but I couldn't find it anywhere around here, so I used this thicker tube of almond paste and grated it. If you are a coconut nut like me, you have to try these. These are the BEST!!!!


Very few ingredients.

Grating the almond paste in my food processor.


The grated almond paste.

I found that puting the coconut in the food processor and pulsing it 8-10 times makes the coconut not so stringy and a better consistnacy for the cookies.




I love using silpat mats to bake my cookies on - non-stick without having to spray the pans.





Coconut Macaroons
Adapted from Lion House Desserts
1 14-ounce bag sweetened, shredded coconut coarsely chopped
(I put mine in the food processor and pulse it a few times)
1 7-ounce package of Pure Almond Paste – grated (Target is the cheapest place I’ve found for this. I grate mine using the grating attachment on my food processor)
½ cup sugar
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
4 egg whites, lightly beaten


Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with wax paper; set aside. (I use silpat instead) In a large bowl, combine coconut, almond paste, sugar, flour and salt. Stir in the egg whites until well mixed. Drop mixture onto prepared baking sheet, shaping into rounds. (I use a small ice cream scoop) Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until lightly browned but still soft in the center. Cool on wire rack. Makes 2 dozen. (I have a convection oven, so I can cook both pans at the same time with my convection oven set at 300 and cook for 20 minutes, switching the pans half way through)



Easter Edition
I just made these macaroons and shaped them like little nests and baked them.  I then put in Cadbury Mini Eggs to make a cute little Easter treat.  This combines two of my very favorite things! YUMMMY!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cranberry Orange Relish

I LOVE cranberry sauce on turkey! I have tried several recipes, and like this one the best. Another great thing to make ahead for Thanksgiving.






Cranberry Orange Relish
Adapted from Lion House Entertaining Cookbook

4 ½ c cranberries
1 ½ c sugar
1 c orange marmalade
1 tsp lemon peel, grated
2 tsp orange peel, grated
1 fresh orange, peeled and diced
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice

Mix together the cranberries and sugar. Place in a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Remove from oven and stir in orange marmalade, lemon peel, orange peel, diced orange and lemon juice. Mix well and refrigerate. Makes 8-10 servings.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

Whenever I am making Thanksgiving Dinner, my biggest worry is "What if I don't have good drippings to make gravy?" I have been known to buy several bottles of gravy to have on hand 'just in case'. Last year, I saw this idea in a magazine. It is a recipe for make-ahead turkey gravy that you can make even months ahead if you want and then freeze it until Thanksgiving. It took all the worry out of the day for me. It calls for turkey wings, which I found at Walmart last year, but couldn't find anywhere this year, so I used turkey drumsticks instead and it worked great-giving us lots of cooked turkey to use for other recipes. I made it today and we had an old fav for dinner tonight from our newlywed years - turkey and gravy over toast. Great memories!

This is the picture of the turkey before it goes in the oven



Make Ahead Turkey Gravy
Makes about 4-5 cups of gravy

Ingredients
• 6 turkey wings (or drumsticks)
• 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
• 1 cup water
• 2 quarts chicken broth, divided
• 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  1 stalk of celery chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Arrange a single layer of turkey wings in a large roasting pan. Scatter the onions over the top of the wings. Roast in the preheated oven for 1-1/4 hours or until wings are browned.

2. Place browned wings and onions in a 5 quart stockpot. Add water to roasting pan and stir, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour the water from the pan into the stockpot. Stir in 6 cups broth, carrot, celery and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 1-1/2 hours.

3. Remove wings from the pot and place on a cutting board. When the wings are cool, pull off the skin and meat. Discard the skin and save the meat for another use. Strain contents of stockpot through a large strainer into a 3 quart saucepan. Press on the vegetables to extract any remaining liquid. Discard the vegetables and skim the fat off the liquid. Bring the contents of the pot to a gentle boil.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk flour into the remaining 2 cups chicken broth until smooth. Gradually whisk the flour mixture into the simmering turkey broth; simmer 3-4 minutes or until the gravy has thickened. Stir in the butter and pepper. Serve immediately or pour into containers and refrigerate or freeze.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

This is a very easy homemade bread recipe. The bread is really good made with oatmeal, or I enjoy making it with this 5 grain rolled cereal instead. I like how simple this recipe is - you add all the flour and yeast at the beginning and after adding the rest of the ingredients, you simply turn on your mixer and let it knead! Enjoy!!!






Oatmeal Sandwich Bread
Adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

1 c. water
1 c. old fashioned oats (I like to use 5 grain - rolled whole grain hot cereal)
Bring water to boil and add oatmeal. Boil for 1 minute then cool until warm

1 c. warm milk (I microwave it for 1 ½ minutes – your time may vary)
3 TBSP cold butter (cut up and added to the hot milk –this melts the butter and cools the milk enough)
3 TBSP honey

In mixer bowl combine:
3+ c. bread flour
2 ¼ tsp. rapid rise yeast (one envelope)
2 tsp. salt

Add the oats to the flour mixture, and then add the milk mixture.
Knead with a dough hook in a mixer for 10 minutes (once it is combined) Add more flour as needed to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Let rise, covered, until doubled

Form into loaf by gently pressing the dough into a 9 inch square, then roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch the seam closed and put in bread pan, seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap.

Let rise until doubled

Brush with 1 TBSP melted butter
Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes (Set an empty loaf pan on the oven rack next to the bread and fill it half full with boiling water)

Flip the bread out onto a wire rack and let cool to room temperature before slicing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

When I saw this recipe demonstrated on Good Things Utah (a local TV show), I knew I had to try it. It was SO something I would make! I made it and we loved it. The next week, I was visiting my daughter and she pulled out a recipe that she said I HAD to try - it was this same recipe! About a month later, we were at a family party and my niece came up to me and said that she had a recipe that her family loved, that she knew I would like - once again - this same recipe! It was destiny!!! (Or as my husband says "my density") It may look like a lot of steps, but don't be scared off - it is really easy to put together. I divide mine into two 9x9 square pans and freeze one before it is baked to save for another night when I am too busy to cook. It freezes beautifully, and half is just right for the two of us (with a few leftovers). It has a very fresh taste - SOOO good!






Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas
As seen on Good Things Utah (with a few adaptations)

1/3 c honey
¼ c fresh lime juice (about 2 large limes)
2 tsp chili powder
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts), cooked and shredded (once again, I use the Costco rotisserie chicken-which I buy, cut up and keep frozen and always on hand)
12 white corn tortillas
2 c grated cheddar cheese
1 14-oz can of green enchilada sauce (mild or medium)
½ c. whipping cream (not whipped)
Nonstick cooking spray
1 TBSP chopped cilantro, to garnish

Preheat oven to 350. Place the cooked and shredded chicken in a bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, place the honey, lime juice, chili powder and minced garlic. Whisk together thoroughly. Pour this mixture over the chicken and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to marinate while you prepare the tortillas, 30 minutes or up to 1 hour, in the refrigerator.

Heat a large griddle till a drop of water skitters across. Spray the surface with non-stick cooking spray or oil in between each round of tortillas. Heat tortillas about 20 seconds on each side till warm and flexible and some golden brown spots have appeared. Remove the tortillas from the griddle and keep them between a couple of paper towels until ready to use.

Spray the sides and bottom of a 9x13 pan lightly with cooking spray(or it can be broken up into two 9x9 pans). In a medium bowl combine the enchilada sauce and the whipping cream. Spread about ½ c of the mixture in the bottom of the oiled baking dish.

Add a large spoonful (about 2 TBSP) of the chicken mixture to the center of each tortilla in a line. Cover the chicken with a large TBSP of cheese, then roll the tortilla up from one side to make a rolled enchilada-it will be more of an over lap on the seam side when rolled tightly. Place the enchilada seam side down in the baking dish, starting at one end with the long edge parallel to the longest side of the pan so that you end up with two columns of six enchiladas each.

Repeat with the remaining chicken, cheese and tortillas. You will use about 1 ½ c. of the cheese for the filling and set the remainder aside for topping the enchiladas in the pan. Add the remaining marinade mixture to the enchilada sauce and cream mixture, if desired. Pour this mixture over the top of all the enchiladas. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake the enchiladas for 30 -35 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly and starting to brown on top. Serve with sour cream, black beans, and rice or a greed salad for a great meal.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lime Curd (Fruit Dip)

I saw a caterer on TV talking about a new idea for wedding food. She makes lime curd and uses it as a dip for strawberries. It looked so good! I searched on the Internet and found a recipe and have made this for many a party or shower - it is always a hit! You will want to eat it by the spoonful.




Lime Curd
adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
4 limes at room temperature
1 1/2 c sugar
1 cube butter at room temperature
4 large eggs at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
2 drops green food coloring
Directions
Remove the zest of 4 limes with a zester or vegetable peeler, being careful to avoid the white pith. Squeeze the limes to make 1/2 cup of juice and set the juice aside. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the sugar and process for 2 to 3 minutes, until the zest is very finely minced. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar and lime zest. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lime juice, food coloring and salt. Mix until combined.
Pour the mixture into a 2-quart saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. The lime curd will thicken at about 175 degrees or just below a simmer. Remove from the heat and let cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Serve as a dip with fresh strawberries, blackberries and raspberries.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chicken and Corn Chowder with Sweet Potatoes

I have been on the hunt for recipes using sweet potatoes lately. I really like them! When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. We loved it! It is really good and very easy. We loved the chunks of sweet potatoes and chicken and the rich creamy texture of the soup - without much added fat! Chicken and Corn Chowder with Sweet Potatoes
Adapted from Cook's Country (serves 6-8)

3 c whole milk
1 c yellow corn muffin mix (I used the Betty Crocker mix, found near the cake mixes)
2 TBSP butter
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 qts. chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" cubes
2 sweet potatoes/yams (about 1 1/2 lbs.) peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 c shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
3 c frozen corn (not thawed)
1/2 c chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper, to taste


Mix milk and muffin mix in a bowl until well combined. Meanwhile, heat butter in large pot over medium heat until foaming. Add onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, chicken and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until sweet potatoes are just tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in milk and muffin mixture and simmer until soup thickens, about 10 minutes. Add cheese and corn and cook until cheese begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. ( I didn't add the cheese and parsley until after the bowls were dished up - using them as a garnish)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Easy Hot Fudge Sauce

This recipe is from my friend Debbie. It is one that - almost every time I make it for something, people want the recipe. It is SO easy! You can whip it up in minutes and it is really good. (Be sure to try it on the fried ice cream - see recipe below)
Hot Fudge Sauce
1 cube butter
1 square unsweetened baking chocolate
1 can sweetened-condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

Melt the butter and the square of chocolate over low heat. When melted, stir in the sweetened condensed milk and stir until mixed together. Continue to stir and cook until fudge sauce is hot, but not to a boil. Remove from heat and add vanilla and salt. Serve over just about anything!

Fried Ice Cream

My daughter-in-law requested this for her birthday dinner today. I had forgotten about it. It is called fried ice cream, but as you can see, no frying involved - it just tastes like the fried ice cream you get at restaurants. It is really good served with hot fudge (recipe to follow) and fresh strawberries. Happy Birthday Aubrey! Fried Ice Cream
4 c. corn flakes (2 c. crushed)
1 c. coconut
2/3 c. sugar
1 cube butter melted
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened by leaving out for 15-20 min.


Mix the first four ingredients together. Spread half of the mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Next, add the 1/2 gallon of ice cream, sliced in 1" thick slices, placed side by side. Cover with the rest of the mixture. Cover with foil and freeze. Serve with fresh sliced fruit and hot fudge sauce.


Helpful Hint: I found that putting the corn flakes in a gallon zip-lock freezer bag and crushing them with a rolling pin works well. Then, just add the coconut and sugar to the bag and shake to combine. Then, add the melted butter and mix it up. No dishes! Yahoo!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Eyeballs

This is an idea from the Family Fun web site. These were quite easy and fun to make. (I also tried the ghost cupcakes - WAY TOO MUCH WORK!) Stick with these. Happy Halloween!!
Halloween Eyeballs
12 donut holes
1 bag white chocolate chips
12 semi-sweet chocolate chips (with the points cut off)
red frosting or gel in a tube

Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Poke the donut hole onto a plastic fork and dip in the chocolate, tapping it to remove excess chocolate. Insert one of the semi-sweet chips - cut end first into the donut hole, making the pupil. Wait for the chocolate to harden. I found that a bowl or small bucket fillet with rice was a perfect place to stick the ends of the forks, allowing the eyeballs to stand upright while the chocolate sets up. (You can put them in the refrigerator to speed up the process) After the chocolate sets up decorate with the frosting to make the blood shot veins.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Two Great Autumn Dips

These are two great fall dips. One is a toffee dip for apples from my friend Ilene, and the other is a pumpkin dip for gingersnap cookies from my friend Caroline. She made homemade gingersnaps, but I found some great ones at Costco that are thin and crispy and wonderful for dipping. (Of course, hers tasted better!) Toffee Dip
1 8-oz pkg. cream cheese
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/3 pkg toffee bits


Soften cream cheese. Add sugar and brown sugar, mix well. Add toffee bits and mix well. It's best to mix this up and refrigerate overnight to soften the toffee bits. Serve with apples.


Pumpkin Dip
2 8-oz pkgs. cream cheese, softened (don't use the lower fat cream cheese - too runny!)
4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. complete pumpkin pie mix (in a can)


Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar, then add pumpkin. Serve with gingersnap cookies.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

My son and his wife gave us 4 of these Skookie Cast Iron Pans for Christmas last year. They are most commonly used for a cookie/ice cream dessert (Skookies), but it came with a recipe for little pizzas too. We have loved these and have them very often. The crust is extra good using these pans. It crisps up just right. They are 6 1/2 " in diameter, so they are the perfect individual pizza size. The recipe makes enough for 6 pizzas. This makes a great Christmas present idea (or you could ask for some for your self!). (You can find them on line or in stores)
If you don't have these little pans, I'm pretty sure it would work in a regular cast iron skillet.
Traditional Skookie Pizza Dough
1 packet yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
1 tsp honey
1 tsp kosher salt
3 c. all purpose flour
1 c. warm water
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil


In a bowl, mix ¼ c. water, yeast and honey. Let proof for 5 minutes until it is bubbly. Add remaining water (3/4 cup), olive oil, 1 cup flour and whisk until smooth. Add salt and remaining flour and stir until soft dough forms. Knead for 2-3 minutes. Let dough rise in an oiled bowl for 30 minutes. Turn dough out on a flat surface and cut into 6 equal parts and roll into balls. Place on oiled cookie sheet, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.


BBQ Chicken Pizza
Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.
Spread dough ball to cover skillet. Spoon your favorite BBQ sauce to cover dough and spread evenly. Sprinkle grated Mozzarella cheese over dough. Add cooked chicken (once again, I use the Costco rotisserie chicken) and chopped red onion. Cook at 500 degrees for 10-12 minutes on a room temperature skillet, or 6-9 minutes in a pre-heated skillet.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I was looking through my recipes for a good soup to have at our family Halloween party, and came across this recipe from my niece Jessie. She had served it at a shower several years ago. I tried it for dinner tonight and LOVED it! Oh my goodness it is good! Very easy too. I will definitely be serving this at the party this weekend. Thanks Jessie!!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 c. frozen corn
1 c. diced red onion
1 - 14.5 oz can diced peeled tomatoes
2 c. cubed cooked chicken (I used a Costco rotisserie chicken )
1/8 c. diced fresh Anaheim chili pepper (about ½ of 1 chili)
2 quarts chicken broth ( I used 4 cans)

Simmer 20-40 minutes.

Right before serving, add:
The juice of 3 limes

Serve with avocados, tortilla chips and cheese

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cheesy Cauliflower (or as my grandkids call it "Cheesy Brain")

For me, this is a comfort food from my childhood. I can remember my grandma and my mom both making this for Sunday dinner. Whenever I got to choose my birthday dinner menu, it always included cheesy cauliflower. My kids and even their spouses and children like it! My grandkids call it "cheesy brain" because it looks like a brain. Trim and wash a head of cauliflower. Cook the cauliflower for about 20 minutes, or until it is tender when poked with a fork. I like to steam mine.

In a separate small pan, melt:
2 TBSP butter
add 2 TBSP flour and cook until bubbly.
Add 1 cup milk and stir until it comes to a boil and is thick.
Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of dry mustard or a squirt of yellow mustard
Add 4-5 slices of Velveeta (I use the 2% milk Velveeta)
Stir until melted and pour over the cooked cauliflower. My grandma always sprinkled a little paprika on top to make it look fancy - so I do it too!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yakisoba

This is a REALLY fast dinner. It takes maybe 10-15 minutes from start to finish.

When we visited our friends the Welch's in Japan years ago, they fed us this for dinner one night and it has become a staple at our house ever since.

You can find the Yakisoba noodles in the refrigerated section near where the won ton wrappers are usually found.


1 pkg of Yakisoba noodles -teriyaki flavored (this has two servings in it, so add more as needed)
1/2 - 3/4 lb. beef or chicken thinly sliced
*1/3 of a bag of cole slaw (pre-cut cabbage with carrots)
*1 head of broccoli florets cut into small pieces
*You can use any combination of vegetables that your family likes.
Cook the meat in a large frying pan with a little oil. Remove the meat to a bowl and then add the broccoli and cole slaw mix to the frying pan and cook until barely tender. Warm the noodles for one minute in the microwave -as per directions on package. Add the noodles and the sauce packet with the water called for. Add the cooked meat back to the pan. Cook 1-2 minutes and you are ready to eat!

Check out this VERY cute idea!

I thought this was such a wonderful Halloween dinner idea. Kids will actually eat it! I wish I had done this when I had kids at home.
Candy Corn Pizza

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crispy Potatoes

This is a nice variation on baked potatoes. We have this most Sundays because it is easy and doesn't require gravy! I have an oven that has a delay start setting on it, so I can prepare this before I go to church and put it in the oven and have the oven come on while we are gone so that when we get home, the potatoes are ready to eat! Our family all likes this and it is healthy because you don't need butter or sour cream on it. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Drizzle olive oil and spread it over the foil. Sprinkle kosher salt, pepper, and any seasoning you like (I really like Montreal Steak Seasoning). Cut washed Idaho russet potatoes in half lengthwise and lay them face down on the foil. Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the bottoms turn crispy brown.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Five Hour Stew

This is a very easy Sunday dinner that has everything in one pot! It is easy to throw together early in the morning, then put in the refrigerator until you are ready to pop it in the oven. It cooks for 5 hours so it is a wonderful thing to have cooking while you are at church, then you come home to a WONDERFUL aroma when you open the door and dinner is ready. Just add some rolls and Jello and you have a complete meal.

This is the before picture. This was the after picture.
5 Hour Stew
2 lb. stew meat
4 c. sliced potatoes
3 c. sliced carrots
1 c. celery chopped (I do mine in the food processor so that it is finely chopped)
2 c. chopped onion (also done in the food processor)
2 cans cream of celery soup (I like the 98% fat free ones)
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1 small bay leaf (optional – I’m not a big fan!)
Dash of pepper
Put all ingredients into either a 9X13 pan or any large pan. Cover with either foil or a lid and bake for 5 hours at 275 degrees.

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