Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cranberry Salsa

Last Christmas I went to a party where this was served and couldn't stop eating it all night!  I asked my friend Bobbi for the recipe, and just got it in my Christmas card from her this year.  I was so excited!  I made it last night for our family progressive dinner.  It is so different, but was really universally liked.  It has a wonderful flavor that is not too strong.  Give it a try this holiday season.  It looks so festive!

Cranberry Salsa

From my friend Bobbi


12-oz bag of fresh cranberries – washed and picked over to remove any mushy ones

¾ c sugar

1 medium jalapeno, seeded and chopped

One green onion, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 TBSP fresh cilantro

¼ tsp cumin



Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving. 

Serve over 2 8-oz pkgs. of cream cheese with pita chips or wheat thins.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Peppermint Angel Food Trifle

It's time for Christmas desserts!  Yahoo!!!  My all-time favorite go-to dessert is the Christmas Cranberry Cake, but a close second is a dessert my mom used to make for my birthday.  It is a Lion House recipe that originally calls for the angel food cake to be cut into 3 layers with the frosting between the layers, but I made it as a trifle and it worked great.  It has a yummy light peppermint flavor, and with the angel food cake and chocolate, it is a perfect mix of flavors. 



Start with Star-lite mints.  It takes about 30-35 mints.


I pulverized mine in the food processor, but if you don't have that, put them in a zip-lock bag and smash them!
I think the trickiest part is catching the peppermint gelatin mixture at the right time, when it is just starting to set up.  It looks like slime to me.  If you let it set up too much, it doesn't mix in and is globby.
Drizzle the chocolate syrup over the cake cubes.  Make sure to put some around the edge so that it shows up in your trifle bowl.

Peppermint Angel Food Dessert
adapted  from Lion House Desserts



1 angel food cake

¾ c crushed (I did it in my food processor) red and white peppermint stick candy (starlight mints)

½ c milk

1 ½ tsp unflavored gelatin (1/2 envelope)

2 tsp water

1 pint whipping cream, whipped until stiff

½ c chocolate syrup (like Hershey’s syrup)

A few crushed candies and chocolate for shaving on top (optional)

Slice angel food cake into 1 inch cubes and set aside.

Put candy and milk in a small saucepan; heat and stir until candy is dissolved. In a small bowl soften gelatin in water, then add to milk and candy mixture. Stir until dissolved. Chill until it starts to set (I think it looks just like “SLIME”) Fold into whipped cream.

Put half the cake cubes into the bottom of a trifle bowl and drizzle half the chocolate syrup over the cake. Spread half the whipped cream mixture over the chocolate. Repeat layers and top with some crushed candy and chocolate shavings-if desired. Chill and serve.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Brining the Bird

I'm sure that by now, most of you have tried brining your turkey - but if you haven't - you MUST try it!   It makes the meat so juicy.  I usually am a dark meat lover, because I don't like the dry white breast meat, but brining makes the whole turkey juicy and delicious!  We have been brining for the last 10 years or so, and really like Alton Brown's recipe from the Food Network.  The Food Network Magazine says that this recipe has been the most popular Thanksgiving recipe on foodnetwork.com for the past 6 years and has garnered more comments than any other recipe on the site!  I highly recommend it.  The spices are a little expensive, but I have used the same bottles for years - it doesn't take a lot.  I was also able to find the vegetable broth for $.39 a can.  Yahoo! 

I put my frozen turkey in the refrigerator today (Saturday morning) so that it will be thawed by Thanksgiving. 

This is how I fit the bucket with the turkey/brine mixture in the fridge.  I am able to take out one of the shelves and it works.  You can also put it into a cooler if you don't have room in your fridge.

I am including the entire Good Eats Roast Turkey Recipe from the Food Network.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Good Eats Roast Turkey


Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, also featured in Food Network Magazine


Prep Time:

15 min

Inactive Prep Time:

7 hr 0 min

Cook Time:

2 hr 30 min

Level:

Easy

Serves:

10 to 12 servings



Ingredients

• 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey


For the brine:

• 1 cup kosher salt

• 1/2 cup light brown sugar

• 1 gallon vegetable stock (9 cans)

• 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

• 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries

• 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger

• 1 gallon heavily iced water


For the aromatics:

• 1 red apple, sliced

• 1/2 onion, sliced

• 1 cinnamon stick (I leave this one out- I can’t do cinnamon!)

• 1 cup water

• 4 sprigs rosemary

• 6 leaves sage

• Canola oil

Directions

Click here to see how it's done.

2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. (I have been reading on the Internet and I have found that this is supposed to be taken in the thigh – not touching a bone to 165 degrees, so follow this at your own risk.-Judy ) A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cranberry Fluff

Recently I was at lunch with some women, and we were sharing Thanksgiving recipe favorites.  One of them told us that her all time favorite was a thing called Cranberry Fluff.  I love cranberry anything, so I had her call me with the recipe.  I gave it a try tonight, as a Thanksgiving pre-trial.  I had looked on the Internet and found a recipe for Cranberry Fluff from Taste of Home that was exactly the same as hers, only double the amount of fresh cranberries.  I tried that one.  It was really good-not too sweet, very refreshing - and really tart!  I think I will try using my friend's version with half the cranberries for Thanksgiving, because, while my husband and I loved it, I don't know if the grand kids would like it that tart.   It is a fun and different way to do cranberries at Thanksgiving.  I really liked it!!! 

If you have a food processor, it's a snap to finely chop the cranberries.


In my friend's recipe, it said to grind the cranberries.  I guess if you have a way to grind them - it would be great!

Cranberry Fluff
Taste of Home

4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (my friend's recipe called for 2 cups) -Note:  after trying the 2 cups at Thanksgiving - WAY better!  I highly reccomend it!

3 cups miniature marshmallows

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups diced unpeeled tart apples

1/2 cup halved green grapes

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Directions

Place cranberries in a food processor; cover and process until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl; add marshmallows and sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Just before serving, stir in the apples, grapes, nuts and salt. Fold in whipped cream. Yield: 10-12 servings.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Slow-Cooked Swiss Steak

I love the Fall and Winter months when you can have yummy things cooking in your crockpot all day, making the house smell delightful.  I also love having dinners like this on days when I am busy in the afternoon.  I can come home, cook some noodles and veggies and dinner is ready to go.   This is an old family favorite of ours.  The meat is SO tender, with great flavor.  We love it!

I like it served over pasta.  

Slow-Cooked Swiss Steak

From Lion House Lite Recipes


2 TBSP vegetable oil

1 ½ lbs. boneless beef top round steak, cut into 6-8 serving pieces

¼ c flour

1 can (14 ½ oz) diced canned tomatoes, undrained

1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce

1 c chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

½ c cold water

1 TBSP cornstarch

Heat oil in a large frying pan. Dredge beef pieces in flour and brown slowly in oil. Place browned meat in a slow cooker. Combine tomatoes with liquid, tomato sauce, onions, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper, and pour over beef. Cover and cook on low setting for 5-6 hours or until meat is tender. Blend the cold water and cornstarch until smooth; stir into liquid in slow cooker and cook on high setting, stirring constantly, until thickened. Makes 6-8 servings.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It smells like Thanksgiving at my house!

I made my Thanksgiving gravy today using this Make-AheadTurkey Gravy recipe.  My house smells SOOO good!  This really helps take the stress out of my Thanksgiving day for me!  Give it a try. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

While I was gone out of town recently, my husband went to a neighborhood pot-luck dinner.  He RAVED about these chicken enchiladas.  When I got home, several times that week he asked if I had gotten the recipe from Mary yet.  I don't think I have ever seen him more excited about getting a recipe!  We had them tonight and they are really yummy and SOOO easy!  Thanks Mary.




Only 5 ingredients - how simple is that!!

Put some shredded chicken and grated Colby-Jack cheese on each tortilla and roll up.


Cover the rolled up tortillas with the sauce and bake.  Add cheese half way through.

Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

about 2 c shredded cooked chicken (I used Costco's rotisserie chicken, Mary used 2 cans of canned chicken)
8 oz shredded Colby-Jack cheese
1 16 oz. bottle of Mild Salsa Verde
1 c ranch dressing
7-8 flour tortillas

Spray a 9X13 pan with PAM.  Mix the salsa and ranch together in a small bowl.  Spoon a few spoonfuls into the bottom of the pan, just enough to cover the bottom.  Set the rest aside.  Fill each tortilla with chicken and cheese and roll, (reserving about 1/2 c of the cheese).   Place the filled tortillas into the pan - seam side down.  Pour the salsa/ranch mixture over the top of the rolled tortillas.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, adding the remaining cheese on top half way through the cooking process.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Orange You Spiky Cupcakes

I found this recipe in my Taste of Home Magazine.  Too cute!  I made them for our family Halloween party.  They were pretty easy and fun to make.  Happy Halloween!


Orange You Spiky Cupcakes
from Taste of Home

6 ServingsPrep/Total Time: 30 min.Ingredients


6 chocolate or vanilla cupcakes baked in black foil liners

1 can (16 ounces) plus 1 cup vanilla frosting

1 cup chow mein noodles

Red and yellow food coloring

12 honey wheat sticks or pretzel sticks

12 mini marshmallows

12 brown M&M’s

Chocolate jimmies (I didn't end up using these)

Directions

1. Spread the tops of the cupcakes with a small mound of vanilla frosting. Insert chow mein noodles into cupcakes to look like spikes. Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up.

2. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the vanilla frosting into a small resealable bag and set aside.

3. Tint the remaining frosting bright orange with the food coloring and spoon into a glass microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the frosting, stirring frequently, until it is the texture of slightly whipped cream.

4. Holding the foil liner of the slightly frozen cupcake, dip the top of the cupcake up to the liner in the melted frosting to coat. Use a spoon to add more frosting if necessary. Allow the excess frosting to drip off. Invert and transfer to a cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.

5. Insert one end of a wheat stick into the side of a mini marshmallow. Repeat with the remaining marshmallows and wheat sticks. Snip a small corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Pipe a dot of frosting on one flat side of a marshmallow. Add a brown candy as the pupil. Add a few chocolate jimmies on the top as eyelashes. Pipe a dot of vanilla frosting on the brown candy as the sparkle in the eyes.

6. Insert two marshmallow eyes on top of a frosted cupcake about 1 in. apart. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes. Yield: 6 cupcakes.



 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Burst O'Lemon Muffins

My sweet neighbor Cherie gave me a Taste of Home Cupcake Cookbook for my birthday, along with a cupcake pan and cupcake liners.  What a great gift!  It has fun cupcake recipes, along with muffins and more.  As I looked through it last night, I saw this recipe and knew I had to try it immediately!  We loved it!  It has all my favorite things in it - lots of fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and coconut.  How could you miss!  Thanks Cherie!!


Burst O'Lemon Muffins
Taste of Home Cupcakes!
Yield: 12 muffins

1 3/4 c flour
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c (8 oz) lemon yogurt
1 egg
1/3 c butter, melted
2 TBSP grated lemon zest
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1/2 c flaked coconut

TOPPING:
1/3 c fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c flaked coconut, toasted

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a small bowl, beat the yogurt, egg, butter, lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth, stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in the coconut.

Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake at 400 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes  before removing from pan to a wire rack. 

In a saucepan, combine the lemon juice and sugar, cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Stir in coconut.  Using a toothpick, poke 6-8 holes in each muffin.  Spoon the coconut mixture over muffins.  Serve the muffins warm or cool to room temperature. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lasagna Soup

My back-fence neighbor Cherie is a wonderful cook.  Several years ago I borrowed her personal recipe file and copied all of it!  She put this recipe in our ward cookbook several years ago.  The word spread right away that this was one of the recipes everyone HAD to try.  It is a great fall soup that isn't your typical soup.  I love it!  Give it a try.

Lasagna Soup
Cherie Peterson

1 lb lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 28oz can Italian style diced tomatoes (use petite diced if you want smaller chunks)
Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 beef bouillon cube (or 1 tsp)
3 chicken bouillon cubes (or 3 tsp)
4 c water
 1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
5 lasagna noodles, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Parmesan Cheese, shredded
Cottage Cheese

Brown ground beef, onion and garlic.  Drain fat.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, bouillon cubes, water and seasonings.  Heat to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes.  Add lasagna noodles and heat through.  Serve hot with a dollop of cottage cheese and sprinkle with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. 
(I threw in a little fresh basil from my garden as a garnish)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Black Bean and Salsa Dip

This is one of the quickest and easiest dips I have ever made, and it is good for you and SOOO yummy!  I have taken it to many a party, and am always asked for the recipe.  It is wonderful because you can make it any time of year- because it doesn't call for fresh tomatoes.  The smokiness of the bacon is really a great flavor with the beans and salsa. 



There are only 4 ingredients in this salsa dip.  The recipe calls for 4 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled.  I have used these Hormel Real Bacon Pieces (don't do the fake ones) and I think they are even smokier than regular bacon (plus it couldn't be easier!)

Black Bean and Salsa Dip
Lion House Lite Recipes

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c chopped green onions
1 c thick and chunky salsa (mild, medium, or hot)
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (or 1/2 of a jar of Real Bacon Pieces)

Combine all ingredients, mixing well.  Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours to blend flavors.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pork Chops with Plum Barbecue Sauce

As I mentioned a few blogs ago, I am participating in an Iron Chef Challenge with my husband's work where you need to use each of the secret ingredients in recipes during the month of September.  This is to try to help us expand our horizons in eating healthy foods.  The four ingredients were quinoa, eggplant, barley, and plums.  I have completed the task, and really like 2 of the 4 recipes I tried (the other 2 were so-so).  I have already shared the quinoa salad that we really enjoyed,  and I've decided not to blog about the roasted eggplant/chickpea hummus, or the barley biscuits, but tonight we had pork chops with plum barbecue sauce and we both really LOVED it!  My husband said that it was definitely a keeper! 

The plum sauce is sweet and tangy with a little zip to it.  It was a perfect compliment to the grilled pork chops.
The recipe calls for 4 plums, but I figured they were probably bigger plums than the ones I had, so I doubled the amount of plums. 

I LOVE any recipe that uses hoisin sauce!  If you haven't tried it before, I highly recommend it.  It is found in the Asian section of the grocery store.  (also - I used the bottled grated ginger - so easy!)


Pork Chops with Plum Barbecue Sauce
adapted from Rachael Ray

1/2 c sugar
1 c water
1 (1 inch) piece peeled ginger, grated (or just use about 1 tsp of bottled grated ginger)
4 plums, sliced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/3 c hoisin sauce
salt and pepper to taste
4 pork chops
Montreal Steak Seasoning or any other grill seasoning you like

Heat the sugar and water in a medium pot over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble.  Reduce the heat to medium low and add the ginger, and plums and a little salt and pepper.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the fresh squeezed lemon juice and remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.  Pour the plum mixture into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Add the hoisin sauce until well incorporated.  Set aside. 

Sprinkle the pork chops with Montreal Steak Seasoning or other seasoning and grill until cooked, but being careful not to overcook them!  Let the meat rest 5 minutes before serving.  Top with warm plum barbecue sauce and serve.  (garnish with some fresh cut-up plums)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

This recipe comes from my next-door neighbor Diane.  I absolutely LOVE the sauce on these meatballs, and I love the fact that you don't have to cook the meatballs in a frying pan first.  Just form the meatballs and pour the sauce over the top and bake.  Couldn't be easier! 


Serve these over rice along with some fresh fruits and veggies.


I have found that, when mixing meatballs, it's best not to stir the ingredients together with a spoon.  It's best to use your fingers and gently mix the ingredients, being careful not to smash them, but to gently toss them together. 
I like using a small ice-cream scoop to form the meat balls so that they are all uniform in size.  This is what it looks like before you bake them in the oven.

Sweet and Sour Meatballs


MEATBALLS:

1 to 1 ½ lbs extra-lean ground beef

¾ c quick oats

2 eggs, slightly beaten

½ c finely chopped onion

½ c milk

1 tsp salt

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

¼ tsp ground black pepper



Gently mix meatball ingredients together and form into small balls. Place into a greased 9x13 pan.

NOTE:  I have found that doubling the sauce recipe below gives you more of the yummy sauce to serve over the rice (which you WILL want!)

SAUCE:

½ c brown sugar

¼ c white vinegar

1 tsp yellow mustard

¼ c barbecue sauce

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce



Heat sauce ingredients to dissolve brown sugar (I do this in the microwave in a glass measuring cup). Pour sauce over meatballs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Serve over rice.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's My 1 Year Blogiversary!




Today marks the 1 year anniversary of this blog.  I would love to hear from any of you who have tried some of these recipes and learn which ones you have liked.  I have appreciated all the comments made and I have enjoyed sharing recipes with my friends and family and any others of you who have stumbled upon this blog.  Thanks for your support! - Judy 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Punchbowl Cake

My daughter recently reminded me that I have never put this recipe on my blog.  Oh my goodness!  It is one of our family's ALL TIME FAVORITES!  How could I have forgotten to put it on here?  This recipe comes from my sister Barb - who brought it to a family party probably 10-15 years ago and it is still requested at most family parties.  It is easy, YUMMY, and feeds a lot of people (12-15).  It is called punch bowl cake because it is put together and served in a glass punch bowl so that you can see the layers.  (It could go in a trifle bowl, but it is much too big to fit in mine.) 


See the pretty layers!

Crumble 1/2 of the cooled cake with your fingers into the bottom of the bowl.

Make up one small box of instant chocolate pudding and spread it over the crumbled cake.
Spread 1/2 of the cool whip over the pudding, then top with the crushed candy.  Repeat the layers.


(Skore bars were $.79 each - so I opted to buy the Heath Bits found on the baking aisle, and added shaved milk chocolate using my vegetable peeler and a chocolate candy bar.  I think it turned out kind of pretty! My daughter told me that where she lives, they have chocolate covered Heath Bits in a bag!  I haven't seen them where I shop.)


Punchbowl Cake

1 German Chocolate Cake Mix - made according to directions on the box, baked and cooled.
2 small pkg. Instant Chocolate Pudding - made up one at a time as directed on box
1 lg container of Cool Whip
6 Skore or Heath Bars (or 1/2 bag of Heath Bits and shaved milk chocolate)

Crumble 1/2 of the cooled cake into a punch bowl (or other large bowl).  Mix up one pudding as directed and spread over the cake (I don't let it set up - it sinks into the cake better that way).  Spread over the cake.  Spread 1/2 of the cool whip on top.  Crush 3 candy bars (in a zip lock bag with something hard used to crush them) and sprinkle over the cool whip.  Repeat all layers.  Refrigerate.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Quinoa Tabouleh with a Greek Twist

With my husband's work, they have a program called "Healthy Utah" where they have challenges from time to time to improve our health.  The challenge this month is called Iron Chef.  They choose a secret ingredient each week that we have to use in our cooking to try to broaden our horizons in healthy eating.  The secret ingredient this week was quinoa! (pronounced KEEN-wah)  I have never used it, but had recently tasted a salad made by my friend Melinda using bulgur.  I really liked it and thought it sounded similar to quinoa, so I substituted it in this recipe.  I think it turned out really yummy - but the quinoa doubles in bulk, where I don't think the bulgar does, so I think I would use less of it next time.
Quinoa is VERY good for you - a wonderful whole grain.  Give it a try!





I loved using fresh tomatoes, basil, and parsley from my garden.



Quinoa Tabouleh with a Greek twist


1 c quinoa (I think I would use 1/2 - 3/4 c next time)

2 c water (double whatever amount you use of the quinoa)

½ tsp salt



1/3 c fresh basil, chopped

¼ c fresh parsley, chopped

1 large cucumber, peeled and cut into little chunks

1 -1 ½ c grape tomatoes, sliced in half or thirds

3 green onions, chopped

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

1/3 c freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 oz feta cheese, crumbled



Bring the 2 c of water and salt to a boil in a small pan. Be sure to rinse the quinoa well and add it to the water and stir.   Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Cool to room temperature.

Combine all the ingredients, gently adding the feta cheese last. Refrigerate.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cottage Cheese Dip

I have been on vacation this last week, and part of that was spent relaxing on a houseboat at Lake Powell.  It was a week of floating around in the water, enjoying good friends, and eating wonderful foods.  One of the couples brought this dip for chips or veggies and it was a BIG hit with all of us!  It is especially good with those little grape tomatoes.  We couldn't get enough.  It is different than your normal dip made with sour cream or mayo.  This is lite and would be good with all different kinds of seasonings added in - to your liking, but is really good just as it is.  Let me know if you try this and if  you added anything different.



Cottage Cheese Dip

1 16 oz container of low-fat cottage cheese
1 8oz pkg of 1/3 less-fat cream cheese
3/4 tsp of onion salt (to taste)
1 tsp  garlic powder (to taste)
1 tsp dried parsley flakes

Simply mix all ingredients together in a food processor or a mixer until the cottage cheese is broken down some, and ingredients are mixed well.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.  (If it is too thick, you can add a little milk to thin it, but I didn't seem to need it with mine)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cilantro Lime Rice

It was my son's birthday this past weekend and I always let my kids choose the menu for their birthday Sunday dinner.  He chose shish kabobs, grilled veggies, corn on the cob, grilled pineapple and cilantro lime rice.  I had never made this rice before, but had just got my hands on a recipe for this from my good friend Melinda (I just love so many of her recipes!).  It was very good and fresh tasting.  It will be a staple from now on. 


Cilantro Lime Rice

3 c chicken broth
1 1/2  c uncooked white rice
2 tsp lime zest
2 small cloves of garlic, minced
1 TBSP butter
black pepper to taste

juice of 1/2 lime (I added a little more)
2 TBSP chopped cilantro

(This can be cooked in a rice cooker or ...) In a saucepan combine broth, rice, lime zest, garlic, pepper and butter.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low, simmering for 20-30 minutes - until the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat.  Uncover and add cilantro and lime juice - stirring to combine.  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Balsamic Pork Chops

I bought some pork chops for dinner and tried a new recipe that I found - it was fantastic, we loved it.  It called for fresh rosemary - which we had growing in our garden, and balsamic vinegar which I LOVE.  It was very quick and easy to make. 



Balsamic Pork Chops
from myrecipes.com

3 TBSP all-purpose flour
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 (3/4 inch-thick) boneless pork chops
2 TBSP butter or margarine
2 TBSP olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chicken broth
1/3 c balsamic vinegar

Combine flour, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Dredge pork chops in flour mixture.

Melt butter with oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add garlic and saute 1 minute.  Add pork chops, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden.  Remove pork chops.

Add broth and vinegar, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet.  Cook 6 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.  Add pork chops and cook 5 minutes or until done.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies


Several years ago at our Young Women's Camp, we had an AMAZING camp cook!  Melinda ran that kitchen so well, with well planned and delicious meals.  She loved to cook, and learned how to make a reflector box oven - using a large cardboard box, lined with foil, with a thermometer stuck in the top, and a little window to peak in to check on the food being cooked.  The heat source was a propane stove in the bottom, with a metal rack above it.  Anyway - one afternoon I could smell the MOST delicious smell that came wafting through the camp - homemade cookies being baked!  Who would have guessed you could bake cookies while camping?  Needless to say, all in camp were soon drawn to the kitchen area by this wonderful smell and we all devoured the hot yummy cookies - I don't think I ever enjoyed a cookie more than that day!  This is the delicious cookie recipe she used.  It has been a favorite ever since.  Thanks Melinda!!




I thought this was a joke, but there really is "Real Margarine" and it was only $.67! 
Melinda swears by it for cookies.


Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

2/3 c unsalted butter (she uses Real Margarine), melted and cooled a bit
1 1/2 c brown sugar, firmly packed
2 TBSP honey
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 c dried cranberries
3/4 c white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine butter, brown sugar and honey.  Add egg and vanilla.  Mix well.  In large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Mix cranberries and white chocolate chips into butter mixture.  Combine with flour mixture.  Mix well.  Pack dough into cookie scoop and place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake in center of oven for 12-15 minutes.  Do not over bake. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sherbet Supreme

When I was sharing the recipe for wedding-ice-cream with my friend Luanna, she told me about her version of a similar recipe that sounded really good!  I made it and served it tonight for a neighborhood get together, and it was a hit.  I loved the cashews in the ice cream - nice surprise!   It's fun to serve with a Pepperidge Farm Pirouette Cookie - broken in half and served on the side.


Sherbet Supreme
Luanna Rowe


½ gallon raspberry sherbet

1 qt. vanilla ice cream

Soften at room temperature for about 1/2 hour then beat together in a  mixer


Add:

1 bag frozen raspberries

1 sm can drained crushed pineapple

1 pkg frozen blueberries

½ - 1 c roasted cashews (wash off salt and dry)


Stir in by hand and freeze.

Allow to thaw for about 1 hour, stir well, then serve.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

If I had to choose a favorite kind of cookie, for me it would be an oatmeal raisin cookie.  I just think they taste like comfort would taste - if it had a taste!  This is a recipe that my mom makes - I love it!





Chewy Oatmeal Cookies
from "Mormon Family Cookbook"

1 c water
1 c raisins

Boil, covered for 2 minutes.  Remove and cool.  Drain and save 1/4 c of the raisin water.

1 c flour (I think it needs more - I do a heaping cup!)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Sift the flour, soda and salt together.  Set aside.

3/4 c shortening
1/2 c sugar
1 c brown sugar

Cream shortening and sugars together thoroughly (this takes about 2-3 minutes - don't rush it). 

1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 c. quick oats (uncooked)
1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)

Add the egg and vanilla; combine well.  Mix in the 1/4 c of raisin water, oats and flour mixture.  Stir in the well drained raisins and nuts.  Drop by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 min at 350 degrees.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

This is a recipe that my mom is famous for!  She said that she got the recipe from her mom (my grandma).  I think it is the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe I have ever tasted (and I have tasted a LOT of them!).  Give it a try.


Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie

from Ruth Naylor


1 c butter flavored shortening

¾ c brown sugar

¾ c granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 tsp warm water

(I have no idea why this is done, but I always do it – my daughter just puts the baking soda into the flour and she says it works fine. I am just an obedient child I guess! If the recipe says to do it – I do it!)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 ¾ c flour

2 c quick oats

1 bag milk chocolate chips

½ c chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixer, cream sugars and shortening until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add soda/water mixture, vanilla and salt and mix well. Next , mix in the flour. Stir the oatmeal, chocolate chips and nuts in by hand. Scoop cookie dough onto a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam and bake for 7-8 minutes. (These are best when they are not overcooked).

It's Cookie Time!


For the next month, I will be sharing some of my favorite cookie recipes.  I hope you will enjoy them!  I thought it might be a good time for cookies, with school starting in a month or so.  I have wonderful memories of coming home from school on that first day and smelling the yummy smells of hot cookies greeting me at the door.  It was a great time to sit down and share how our day went.  I did this with my kids, and my daughter is carrying on the tradition.

I don't make a lot of cookies these days, because there are only the two of us living here now.  I was talking to my daughter, who also deals with this problem, and she told me that when she makes a batch of cookies, she bakes a few, and then forms the rest into logs, wraps them in plastic wrap - then foil, then freezes them.  Later, when she wants a few hot homemade cookies, she simply pulls a log out, slices off a few cookies, and bakes them.  (You just bake them a little longer because they start out frozen)  I love this idea!  Now we can have cookies without fearing that we will eat the entire batch at once!

or...

My friend Melinda commented on my blog about how she freezes the dough.  She said that she forms the cookies, freezes them on cookie sheets, then when frozen she puts them in a zip-lock bag and can pull them out one at a time - all ready to bake!
You can put them close together on the cookie sheet to freeze
In the zip lock bag- ready to go in the freezer.
Thanks Melinda!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Wedding Ice Cream

At our Young Women's camp many years ago, we had a "leaders' siesta" one hot afternoon midway through the week.  The Stake YW presidency sat us in chairs, with our feet in tubs of warm soapy water, gave us the YUMMIEST ice cream treat ever to eat, and massaged our shoulders or gave us foot rubs!  It was heaven!!!!  This ice cream tasted like homemade ice cream with fruit in it.  When I found out how simple it was to make and that it didn't take an ice cream maker, salt and ice to create, I was SO excited!  I have made this many times since, and it is always a big hit.  I don't know why it is called wedding ice cream, but I assume someone served it at a wedding at one point - it would be perfect.  I serve it with a little cookie, like a Pepperidge Farm Pirouette to make it look fancy.
I am bringing 4 batches of this ice cream to a family party on Friday, and the raspberries in my garden are coming on like gangbusters, so I went out and picked these this morning and it was enough to make 3 of the 4 batches! (I used a bag of frozen raspberries for the other batch)  I love summer!!!
This ice cream only has 3 ingredients.  Pineapple sherbet, raspberries and bananas.

Cut the bananas in half, lengthwise, then in half again to make quarters.

Next, slice them into little pieces.

This is what the ice cream looks like when made with the frozen raspberries.  It will turn more pink as the raspberries thaw a little and the juices flow!


This is what the ice cream looks like made with the fresh raspberries.  This picture is taken before it is put in the freezer.  A beautiful pink color - you would never know it is made with pineapple sherbet.

 Wedding Ice Cream
from Melanie

1/2 gallon pineapple sherbet
3 ripe bananas
1 bag of frozen raspberries or a generous 2 c of fresh raspberries

Leave the sherbet out at room temperature for about 1/2 hour to soften.  Put the sherbet into a large bowl and stir until smooth.  Stir in raspberries.  Slice and quarter bananas and add to ice cream.  Stir well and freeze.   (Let it thaw a little before serving to soften.)
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