Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cookies & Cream Cookies

I made these cookies for FHE treats the other night, and they were SO YUMMY! Especially the dough! Just use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, and instead of chocolate chips, fold in broken up pieces of oreos. So the idea from pinterest :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bierocks Revised

Bierocks is a traditional German meal, but with cheese and all that I add, it's much more american.  This is just the filling.  You can wrap it in dough and bake to make bierocks, or you can serve over noodles.

Once again, I didn't have a picture so I took this one from Janet Sheetz.
1 pound hamburger
1 large onion
3 tsp fresh, chopped garlic
2/3 head of cabbage, chopped
1 tbsp season all
1 tsp black pepper
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup
1/4 c. whipping cream (or milk or sour cream if you don't have the whipping cream)
1 c cheddar cheese, shredded

Brown hamburger with onion and garlic in a very large skillet.  Once hamburger is medium well, add cabbage and seasonings.  Stir often.  Once hamburger is cooked though entirely, turn down heat to med-lo and cover with lid.  Stir occasionally.  Once cabbage is soft, add soup, cream, and cheese.  Heat through.  This makes a large batch to be served over two meals or half frozen.  Serve wrapped in dough and baked or over noodles.

Don't let the cabbage scare you- it's super yummy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

White Bean Fennel Soup

On Saturday we received fennel in our bountiful basket.  I didn't have a clue what to do with fennel- I don't even think I've ever eaten it before.  So I found this recipe on that had a high rating and tried it.  I never even thought to take pictures because it was just a test, but it turned out super yummy!

This is not my picture.  I took it from the original recipe.
White Bean Fennel Soup by Donna Quinn (my changes in parenthesis)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth (2 cans)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can white kidney or cannelini beans, rinsed and drained (2 cans)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (none, I don't like thyme)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper (1 tsp pepper)
  • (2 tsp kosher salt)
  • 1 bay leaf (2 leaves)
  • 3 cups shredded fresh spinach (none because we were out, but it would be really good)

  • In a large saucepan, saute onion and fennel in oil until tender. Add the broth, beans, tomatoes, thyme, pepper, (salt) and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 (45) minutes or until fennel is tender. Discard bay leaf. Add spinach; cook 3-4 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Black Bean Hummus

I have a not-so-secret love affair with hummus.  I have had a black bean version in my "to try" folder for forever, but I was lucky enough to try some at a local earth day celebration and promptly got the recipe.
1, 16 oz, can of black beans- drained, but reserve juices

1, 16 oz, can of black beans- drained, but reserve juices
1, 16 oz, can of garbanzo beans (aka chick peas)- drained
1/2 c. plain yogurt (I used sour cream)
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 head roasted garlic (I used about 8 cloves diced)
1/2 packet ranch dressing powder
2 tsp cumin

Blend all in a food processor.  Add reserved juices if needed to attain proper consistency.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tomato Garlic & Herb Bread

I've been on a little bit of a bread kick lately.  For years I could NEVER make a decent loaf of bread, or rolls, or anything using dough!  But then a couple years ago my mom came over and SHOWED me every little step.  So now I'm getting a little daring, and have been experimenting and tweaking my recipe a little.  This is the latest........Tomato Garlic & Herb.  I had some leftover sun dried tomatoes from a pasta that I made, so I chopped them up and put them into the dough.  It was so good, especially toasted with laughing cow cheese spread on it, or on a turkey sandwich!  My little girl, Macie, ate about 1/3 of a loaf while it was warm.  While I was trying to get a picture of it she kept stealing little bites, then she stole the whole slice, haha.  That's why I added the pictures......I thought it was funny. 

When I did it, I halved my usual bread recipe, so it made 2 loaves instead of 4.  If yours makes 4, I would probably double these ingredients. 

Favorite bread recipe
1/2 cup hopped sun dried tomatoes (you can get these in the bulk bins at Winco for way cheap)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs Italian seasoning (or you could do whatever herbs you like)
1 egg (for egg washing the crust)

Make your dough, and add the the tomatoes and spices for about the last 2 or 3 minutes of kneading.  Then separate into equal pieces and shape into a ball, then flatten them just a little.  Place them on a greased cookie sheet to rise.  When they are about double, cut three slits in the top of each one, and brush them with the beaten egg.  Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes.  The crust will be dark and shiny, and the bread should sound hallow when you tap it.  Cool on wire racks. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I tried this today, and it was SO YUMMY hot out of the oven!  All I did was use the whole wheat recipe that I usually do, and added the cinnamon swirl.  But just use the bread recipe you're used to making, doesn't have to be whole wheat.........

your favorite bread recipe

Make your dough, then when you're ready to put it into the pans, roll each loaf out into a rectangle.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Roll up and pinch the edges shut.  Then pinch the ends together and fold under (to make it look pretty).  Put it the pans and let rise like normal and bake.  My little girl LOVED this!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spinach salad with Teriyaki Bowties

Oh my goodness. This salad is scrum-didily-dumpcious! I may or may not have have halved the recipe (which still makes a ton), and then ate the whole thing by myself in two days! Klay hates any cold pasta salad so he didn't didn't like it. But if you're into that kind of thing, you must try this.  
16 oz. Bowtie pasta, cooked and cooled
1 - 2 bags of fresh baby Spinach
2 small cans Mandarin Oranges
1 cup Craisins (I left this out)
1 Red Pepper, chopped
1 can Water Chestnuts (I didn't have any so I left this out too)
1 bunch Green Onions, chopped
1 cup Honey Roasted Peanuts or Cashews
1/2 cup fresh Parsley (optional)
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds, toasted (optional)
2 cups torn cooked Chicken (optional)

1 cup Vegetable Oil
2/3 cup White Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
2/3 C. Teriyaki Sauce
5 Tbs. Sugar

Cook bowtie pasta according to directions, drain and cool while whisking the dressing together in a large bowl. Marinate cooked bowtie pasta in the dressing for 1 hour or longer in the fridge. (I was too hungry so mine only sat in the fridge for about 15 min!) Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl and pour the teriyaki sauce and pasta over the salad, toss together and serve. If it's just a few of you, make individual salad servings; keeping the salad and bowtie sauce separate for the rest of the week (no one likes a soggy salad).

This really is like PARTY size. I mean, ward party or Johnson family party size. If I was going to take it to an all girl's lunch I would probably still half it! Well, maybe not because then I could eat the other half myself again!

Recipe from The Sisters Cafe.

Two Week Menu Part II

Pesto Chicken
Chicken Tinola
Italian Chickini
Orange Thai Beef Skewers
Grilled Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa
Split Pea Soup
Egg Salad Sandwiches
English Muffin Breakfast Pizza
Crockpot Mac & Cheese
Salad Night

I could still use and idea or two.  What are you doing?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

My sis in law told me about this recipe blog and said everything she makes is absolutely delicious. Well I checked out Mel's Kitchen Cafe and it really did all look so yummy! So I made my 2 week menu (thanks Stevie!) using tons of her recipes. Tonight I made this Broccoli Cheese Soup with the Divine Breadsticks from her blog (posted below) and it was a FABULOUS dinner for a rainy day. I doubled the soup recipe so we could have plenty of leftovers for this rainy week.

Note from Mel: To make my life easier, while the soup is coming together, I put the chopped broccoli in a large glass bowl, cover with saran wrap and microwave for about 3-4 minutes. It cooks perfectly and just in time to add it to the soup.

*Serves 4
1 can chicken broth (about 1 3/4 cups of broth) - I did 3 cups water w/ 3 chicken bullion cubes
1 small onion, diced
1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. butter
Pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, preferably sharp or extra sharp
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
2 1/2 to 3 cups chopped, lightly steamed or blanched broccoli

Simmer chicken broth and chopped onion for 15-20 minutes in a covered small saucepan, until onions are soft. Heat milk in microwave for 1-2 minutes. In a separate medium-sized stockpot, melt butter then add flour and pepper. Cook together for a couple of minutes, then whisk in warmed milk. Stir and heat together on medium-high heat until soup starts to thicken. Next add chicken broth and continue to stir until well blended. Add cheeses and steamed broccoli. Serve immediately.

Divine Breadsticks

Also from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Easy and delicious with just a little planning ahead.

*Makes about 20-25 breadsticks, depending on how thick or thin you cut them

1 ½ cups warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 ½ cups flour (Mel says - I usually use a combination of unbleached all-purpose flour and white whole wheat flour but use whatever you have on hand!)
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted (for the baking sheet)
Mix all ingredients (except melted butter) in a large bowl or electric mixer and knead for three minutes. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread melted butter onto an 11X17-inch baking sheet. Roll out the breadstick dough about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick and cut into strips with a pizza cutter. Twist slightly if desired and place about 1/2-inch apart on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with garlic salt, herbs of choice (I vary this depending on my mood but it usually consists of rosemary, basil, or thyme in some form and crushed finely) and parmesan cheese. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes. Bake 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A spin on tacos

 I love tacos. They are fast and easy so we eat them a lot. Since we eat them so much, I have a few minor variations we use.

1 lb hamburger
1 can of refried beans or 1 can of any kind of beans, rinsed (we love each for it's own reasons so we switch it up)
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
taco seasoning

Prepare meat as usual but when you add taco seasoning add the beans and tomato sauce. (I don't think I use the whole can of sauce. Maybe 3/4 the can? Just add until you get the consistency you like.) It makes it more of a burrito-taco than just plain hamburger. Squeeze a lime on it and top with cilantro if you want a gourmet taco! (We all know my love of cilantro) So this isn't a special recipe, just a new idea on an old meal!

Easy Roast Pork & Veggies

My Mother-in-Law made this the other week and it was delicious, so I tried it the other day and mine turned out the yummy and JUICY.  It only takes like 5 minutes of prep, so it's very easy.

Pork Loin/Roast (I'm sure this would work with tenderloin too, just don't cook it as long)
Grill seasoning (I use Mrs. Dash, my Mother-in-Law used McCormick, both were really good.)
Any other fresh veggies you want.  I just used carrots and potatoes, because that's all I had.  But Donna also did Onions, Green Beans, and mini Peppers.  Asparagus would be really good too. 

Heat oven to 450.  Rub roast with oil, then rub with grill seasoning.  Put in glass pan or roasting pan.  In a large bowl, put a couple tablespoons of oil.  Then wash and cut up your veggies and add them to the bowl.  Salt and pepper them really well, then toss it all together.  Pour the veggies around the roast in your pan and cover with foil.  Bake at 450 for about 30 minutes, then take off the foil and let it cook for about another 10 minutes.  Check for doneness. 

*These leftovers make the BEST sandwiches.  Thinly slice the cold pork and put it on rolls with mayo and mustard and salt & pepper (& lettuce if you want).  Just like a turkey sandwich, but these are SO GOOD!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Two Week Menu

I offered to send Lindsey my two week menu, but thought it might be easier to share it here.

How to set it up:  Pick how many meals you will prepare in the next two weeks.  Since we share Sunday dinner with family and lunches are always low key (think PB&J), for the next two weeks I will need to prep 12 meals.  I try and mix up different kinds of protein and meat free meals.  Remember some meals are big enough to feed your family twice and you may want to include that in your count.  I almost always only count everything once because I'll send leftovers with my hubby for lunch and if there's more than that, then I get an easy lunch too.

Side dishes?:  I never plan side dishes as we usually just throw in whatever produce we have on hand (from Bountiful Baskets, you should really check them out!).  But you could definitely plan those as well.

Organization:  Some people like to assign each meal to a date.  I can't do that, it's too structured.  Instead I list the meals, knowing I have all the ingredients on hand, then choose that afternoon what I feel like eating and the amount of time I feel like taking to prepare it.  I also have a code system assigned to help me get a better feel for what I want to do.  For example, if a meal is underlined it's a simple, fast meal- this is great for nights I'm going to be gone and need to have it ready before I leave or leave Nick in charge with minimal instructions.  I also put a star next to any meal that has a time sensitive item in it.  Usually I only mark this on fresh produce meals, but today I cleaned out my freezer, so there's also a star next to freezer items I want used asap.

So with that explanation, here's my menu for the next two weeks (I linked up the meal with a recipe whenever possible!):

Ghost Chili
Chicken Courdon Bleu
Garlic Ranch and Veggie Pizza*
Hashbrowns and Eggs*
Spaghetti and Spinach Turkey Meatballs* (I modify this to make mini meatballs without the sauce then freeze them and thaw and cook for a quick addition to our spaghetti dinners)
Peach Pork Roast*
Steak Fajitas*
Chef Salad*
Rosemary Chicken
Calzones (Hmm, got this from Kristine a while ago, maybe she'll share it here for you!)

Grocery Shopping:  Ok so now I gather all these recipes and make a list of what ingredients I need and anything else the house is short of (and after two weeks, that's a lot!)  I do a milk run in the middle of shopping trips, but I try to limit it to just milk, so it's essential that I really take stock of what I'll need.  I also get most of my produce through Bountiful Baskets.  Each week is a surprise, so if there's something I really need from the produce department, I'd better buy it now or else I'll be out buying it later.  For general veggies to use on the veggie pizza or in the fajitas, I'm sure to get something that will work in my basket and I don't worry about them.  By the way, shopping only once every other week saves you a lot of money in impulse buys and last minute eating out.

It's Dinner Time:  Now Tuesday late afternoon rolls around and it's time to get cooking.  I glance up at my list and make a choice based on what I feel like eating, the amount of time I have to cook, and (very important) what needs to be done before ingredients go bad.  So I pick spaghetti and meatballs since the meatballs are already thawing in the fridge and I have mutual to get to by 6.  Ta da!  Cross your meal off.  My only last bit of advice is to make sure all the prep heavy meals are not left to the end.  No one wants to spend an hour in the kitchen four days in a row.  Balance is the key here.  Enjoy never having to ask "What's for dinner?" again!

Nick's Rosemary Chicken

Yes this is my husband's creation.  And it was good!  He didn't measure so these are all approximate and can be changed to suit your tastes.

2 tbsp evoo
1.5 lb chicken breasts
3 tsp lemon pepper, divided
2 tsp kosher salt, divided
4 tsp rosemary, divided
1 tbsp lemon juice, divided

Heat up evoo in pan on med high heat.  Put in chicken breasts, and sprinkle half of each of the seasonings on top.  Brown.  Turn chicken and sprinkle the other half of the seasonings.  Cook until internal temperature is safe (165*).  What tasted extra yummy was that the rosemary started to caramelize in the oil.  Yum!

Peach Pork Roast

  • Picture courtesy of the Open Pantry

    • boneless pork loin roast shopping list
    • 1 can (15.25 oz)sliced peaches in heavy syrup1/4 tsp onion salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 c. chili sauce
    • 1/3 c. light brown sugar
    • 3 TBS apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
    • 1 TB cornstarch
    • 2 TBS water
  • Coat a 6 qt. Slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place roast into slow cooker; season with onion salt and black pepper.
  • Drain peaches, reserving the syrup. In a bowl, whisk syrup, chilisauce, brown sugar, vinegar and pumpkin pie spice. Pour over meat; scatter peach slices over the roast. Cook 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
  • Remove meat and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Spoon out peach slices and reserve. Place liquid in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds until the sauce thickens.
  • To serve, slice meat and scatter reserved peach slices over the top.

Ghost Chili

A creamy chili that’s good on the taste buds and the budget.

  • Prep Time 
  • Cook Time 


  • 1 pound Chicken Breast, Cubed
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 1-½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 2 cans (15.5 Oz) Great Northern Beans, Rinsed And Drained
  • 1 can (14.5 Oz) Chicken Broth
  • 2 cans (4 Oz.) Chopped Green Chilies
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ½ teaspoons Black Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • ½ cups Whipping Cream

Preparation Instructions

Heat oil in a large pot. Saute chicken, onion, and garlic powder until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies, and seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and cream.
If you like your chili very mild, reduce the amount of chilies to 1 can, or rinse and drain the chilies well.
To make a less rich, healthier version, use 2 cups sour cream and 1/4 cup milk.