Monday, March 22, 2010


Ok so this is my all time FAVORITE meal, it is so easy and PERFECT for Sunday dinner. I just throw it all into the crock pot before church, set it on high and let it cook for the 4 hours we're at church... Mike is the choir directer so we get to be there for an EXTRA hour! :) Then when I get home, make some rolls and let it cook for another 30 minutes to an hour on low. Then eat and eat until you can't eat anymore!

EDIT: It is even better if you let it cook on low for 8 hours. It is so tender! I have also tried using sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes and it was really yummy!

Oil (for browning)
garlic salt
onion powder
salt and pepper
Pour a tablespoon or so of oil into a skillet, sprinkle some of the onion powder, garlic salt(just a little), salt, and pepper into the oil, brown all sides of the meat. Put into the crock pot. Peel carrots, wash potatoes and cut in half if large, or if they are small you can keep them whole. Put water half way up the meat sprinkle more salt and pepper and a little more onion powder. cook for 4-5 hours on high! mmmmm seriously SO good!

For Gravy, get all of the meat, carrots, and potatoes out of the crock pot then strain the drippings into a sauce pan. Add some beef broth or bouillon if it needs more flavor. Mix 2 TBS of corn starch with some water... just enough that you can mix it around and it isn't too thick. Bring the drippings to a boil and whisk in the corn starch, let it boil for about a minute until it is thick.

S'more Brownies

THESE WERE SO GOOD!!!!! I got this recipe from
S'more Brownies

6 TBS unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
2 TBS sugar
a pinch of fine salt

8 TBS (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I didn't have any so I just used cocoa powder)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp fine salt
4 large cold eggs
1 cup all purpose flour

4 cups large marshmallows (I used half a bag of mini marshmallows)

Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line an 8x8 pan with foil so it hangs over the edge 1 inch.

*Crust: Lightly butter the foil with some of the melted butter, stir the rest of the butter with the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

*Brownies: Put butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl, melt on 75% power for 2 minutes, stir, microwave another 2 minutes until fully melted (or use a double boiler). Since I didn't have the chocolate I just mixed the butter and cocoa. Stir brown and white sugars, vanilla, and salt into melted chocolate. Add eggs and beat vigorously to make a thick glossy batter. Add flour and stir until just incorporated. Bake until crispy and a toothpick comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Put rack 6 inches from broiler on low, layer the marshmallows on top and broil until they are golden, for about 2 minutes (keep a close eye on them cuz it'll look like nothing is really happening and then it will all of a sudden be done :) that is always how it seems when I'm broiling anything!) Use the foil to take them out of the pan and let them cool.

Baja Chicken Tacos

I made this with my pitas instead of taco shells.

This recipe is from Publix Apron's Simple Meals They had a sample at the store and it was good so I decided to try it out myself! They used chicken thighs but I used chicken breasts instead... you know me and my chicken issues! :)

Baja Chicken Tacos

1 lb chicken
1 avocado
1/4 cup sour cream
2 TBS taco seasoning
1 (8oz) can pineapple tidbits (drained)
1/4 cup mild salsa
1/4 cup diced tomatoes

I used some shredded chicken that I had in the freezer (makes life so much easier!)
The recipe says: Preheat a grill pan on high for 2-3 minutes, season the chicken with the taco seasoning (wash hands) Place chicken on pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until 165 degrees F. Cut chicken into small pieces.
My way, just heat up the shredded chicken in a skillet and season with the taco seasoning. Combine chicken with the pineapple then stir in the salsa (Ok so this is kinda ridiculous but I blended up the salsa so that it wasn't chunky!). Put a few thin slices of avocado into each pita (or taco shell) Fill with the chicken mixture and top with sour cream and tomatoes... or if your me then just the sour cream! You can add extra salsa too. mmm now I want to make it again!

Pita Bread

These turned out really good, I don't ever really eat pitas but I thought I would try it!

Pita Bread

3 cups flour, plus 1/2-3/4 cup more
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS sugar or honey
1 packet instant yeast
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups water, room temperature
2 TBS olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, or shortening

Mix the yeast with the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the olive oil and water, stir with a wooden spoon. All of the ingredients should form a ball. If some of the flour will not stick to the ball, add a little more water. Knead on work surface for about 10 minutes or if you are using an electric mixer mix on low speed for 10 minutes. Add flour until the dough clears the sides of the bowl, tacky but not sticky. Place in a bowl that is lightly coated in oil and flip (so that the dough is also coated with oil) Cover with a damp towel and let it rise until doubled, about 90 minutes. Punch down and divide into 8 equal parts. Roll each piece into a ball, cover and let rise for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 and put a baking stone or upside down baking sheet into the preheating oven. Spread a light coat of flour on surface and a little on top of your ball of dough and roll out to 1/4-1/8 inch thick, 6 inches diameter. Let the discs rise until barley doubled, 30-45 minutes. bake for 3-5 minutes, until they puff up, flip and cook for another 2 minutes or so.

Cheesy Potato Soup

Let me just start by saying this soup is SO good! And I think that the fact that it is so easy makes it even better!
My mom made this soup a lot when I lived at home and in my recipe book it says it is from the Kitchen of Brenda Green, so I guess I owe a thanks to Aunt Brenda because this is one of my favorites!
(Oh, and I of course took the celery out!)

Cheesy Potato Soup
1 bag California style vegetables (carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower)
8-10 potatoes
1 pound Velveeta cheese (You can also use cheddar cheese but it wont melt as well)
10 chicken bouillon cubes
1 cup flour
2 cups cold water
Peel and cut the potatoes into bite size cubes, put into a large pot with the vegetables and bouillon cubes. Fill the pot with water so it is an inch above the vegetables. Boil for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes and vegetables are tender.
Mix the cup of flour with 2 cups of cold water and strain (so there aren't clumps) it into the pot while stirring to thicken.
Take the pot off of the heat, cut the cheese into small cubes and stir it into the soup until it is melted. I always serve it with a side of rolls.
P.S. the original recipe calls for 4 carrots, 1/2 head of cauliflower, and 1 bunch of broccoli, so if you'd rather use fresh veggies these are the amounts! ok ok and if you DO like celery 4 stalks... but I'm warning you, it probably wont taste as good!! :)

Crescent Rolls

These are the Crescent Rolls I made for the chicken salad sandwiches. I got this recipe from my friend Holly.

So the first batch I made... FAIL. Somehow I forgot milk ... which means I didn't soften the yeast at all and it turned out looking like sugar cookies and tasted not so hot. BUT I tried again and actually followed the recipe and... mmmm so good!!

Here is the first batch I made, not pretty!
Crescent Rolls
(I just copied and pasted so these are her words cuz she is the expert... you can see how mine turned out haha)

1/2 cup butter + more to melt on top of rolls at end
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 package (1 Tablespoon/ 1/4 oz) active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/2 teas. salt
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 c. flour
This looks much better! :)

1. In a large bowl cream 1/2 cup butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Dissolve yeast in warm milk *I warm it up in the microwave*; add to creamed mixture. Add salt and 1 cup flour; beat until blended. Stir in remaining flour to form a soft dough.

* I use 4 cups or less but I know it changes depending on where you are. Just try to use as little flour as possible so your dough is softer. I usually add about 3 cups and then have another cup to the side and work it in when I'm kneading the dough so that I use less. It should be soft but not sticky.

2. knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes (I never time it). Place in a greased bowl, turn over once to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place about 1 hour or until doubled.

3. Punch dough down. Turn on lightly floured surface (sometimes I don't use any flour or I use cooking spray to avoid using more flour). Divide in half. Roll each portion into a 12-inch circle; cut each circle into 12 wedges. ** for your bigger crescent rolls only cut it into like 8. its easiest to cut it into quarters and then cut each quarter into two or three depending on what size you want.**
roll up the triangles you cut and place down on greased baking sheets 2 in. apart. Curve end down to form crescents. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes, until doubled.

4. Bake at 400 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned. ** watch closely , you don't want to burn it after all that work,and I've come close** remove from pans to wire racks. brush melted butter over warm rolls.

yield - 24 or if your doing the bigger ones, 16 (** I made bigger ones for the chicken salad sandwiches)

Store in air tight container, or freeze in airtight container to keep them fresh if you have a lot. I like to warm it up in the microwave with honey and butter.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Refried Beans

So... I love homemade refried beans. I love them so much I can't even eat the kind out of a can anymore!! They are just SO delicious when you make them yourself.

Make a big ol' pot of beans:

I use my pressure cooker so that it only takes 20-30 minutes to cook. First of all though you need to wash and soak your beans overnight. Rinse them and put them into your pot and cover them with water. I put a few slices of bacon in the pot (makes them very tasty!!) and some salt.

Re-fry the beans:

Just put a tablespoon or so of oil into a medium skillet, let it get hot. Put a few scoops of beans (none of the liquid, just beans) and let them fry for a little while until the skins pop open. Get a potato masher and squish the beans adding the rest of the beans with the bean juice, mashing them all up until they are all mashed and the liquid is thickened

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I am an assistant to the activity day girls for church and we had a "fiesta" on Tuesday night. I made sopapillas for dessert... honestly I don't know if they eat these in Mexico, but growing up they were "Mexican food" to me.

I had these at my Great Uncle Glenn's when we went for 4th of July and my mom got the recipe from them, thankfully!!


2 cups hot mashed potatoes (instant or real, either way should work... I used instant)
1 TBS salt
2 cups milk
2 TBS sugar
4 TBS butter, melted
1 TBS yeast
2 eggs, well beaten
6 cups flour
Oil for deep frying

Mix the milk, salt, sugar, and melted butter. Add potatoes (really hot) then let the mixture sit until warm. Add the beaten eggs. Let the yeast dissolve in a little bit of luke warm water, then add it to the potato mixture. The dough will be really sticky. Stir in the flour and knead lightly, just enough to mix in the flour. Let it rise to twice it's size, knead lightly again, rise it to twice it's size a second time. Roll out to about 1" thickness. Cut into the size you desire. Dough needs to be sticky so just use enough flour so you can handle it (I like to use cooking spray on my hands instead of flour) Deep fry until golden. I drizzled some honey and butter on half of them and the other half I sprinkled cinnamon sugar over them.

Golden Grahams S'mores

These are quite delicious and really easy to make I don't know where I got the recipe but probably off of a box of golden grahams ??

Golden Grahams S'mores

1 box of golden grahams cereal
3 cups mini marshmallows
1 package milk chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
5 TBS butter
1/4 light cup corn syrup

Melt the butter with 2 cups marshmallows and the chocolate chips on low heat. Add the corn syrup. Take off heat then add the vanilla. Pour a box of cereal into a large bowl and pour the mixture over that and mix until evenly coated. lightly grease a 9x13 pan and pour cereal mixture into it, add the remaining cup of marshmallows and fold them in until evenly distributed. Press into the pan and let it chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or so (until it is firm... but not too firm)

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Awful picture! sorry, I didn't get a pic of the finished platter which was beautiful if I do say so myself!

Mmmmmm... Chicken salad sandwiches are pretty much my favorite!!
I made these for a bridal shower last Saturday and I was so glad for the excuse to make them!!

Chicken Salad Sandwiches
You will need:

5-6 boneless skinless (fatless, veinless :)) chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 granny smith apple
Red grapes
Miracle Whip
Whatever bread you want to put it on.
(this makes a bunch!)

For the chicken I cut any thing off that is even touching the fat or veins... I am SO picky when it comes to chicken if I didn't make it I usually wont eat it... I'm horrible! Anyways I cook it in my pressure cooker for 20-30 minutes, take it out and put it straight into my kitchen aid with the whisk attachment (while the chicken is still piping hot) and put it on high for just a few seconds until it is mostly shredded. Then get one small granny smith apple and cut it into thin slices, then dice into smaller pieces. Then get some red grapes and quarter them. Put the fruit in with the shredded chicken and add miracle whip until it is pretty moist, I use quite a bit because you don't want your sandwiches to be dry! I like it best served on croissants, like the small ones from Costco (YUM). For the ones I made on Saturday I made some crescent rolls with a recipe my friend Holly gave me and they were SO good, they were a little bit sweet and went really nicely with the chicken salad. I also made some mini rolls because I didn't have time to make another batch of crescent rolls!!

Grandma's French Bread

Not my grandma's french bread... but someones :) I got this recipe from:

This bread was really yummy... but what bread isn't right!? :)

French Bread
2 1/4 cups warm water
2 TBS sugar
1 TBS yeast
1 TBS salt
2 TBS oil
5 1/2-6 cups flour, stirred before measured

Dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the warm water. Let it proof (until it is foamy) Add salt, oil, and 3 cups of flour. Mix. Add the rest of the flour and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead if for a few minutes. Let the dough sit in the mixer for 10 minutes then turn the mixer on to stir the dough down, for about 10 seconds, then let it sit for another 10 minutes and repeat 5 times. Turn onto a floured surface and divide it into 2 equal parts. Roll each into a 9x13 rectangle. Starting from the long edge roll the dough up. Place them onto a baking sheet that is lightly sprinkled with corn meal seam side down (my seams obviously didn't stay down) cut 3-4 gashes at an angle on top of each loaf with a sharp knife. Let them rise for 30 minutes. Brush with egg wash (1 egg with 1 TBS water... I forgot this step.. oops)

Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cheesy Lasagna

I got this recipe from my better crocker Sunday Dinner Cookbook and I changed it up quite a bit so I could use the cheeses that I had on hand. I also used italian seasoning instead of all of the individual fresh herbs.

Cheesy Lasagna

1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups milk
2 slices provolone cheese
3 slices muenster cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups ricotta cheese (I replaced the cottage cheese with ricotta cuz I like it better and I already had some)
1 TBS italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook at 350 Degrees for 35-40 minutes

Melt the margarine or butter in 2-quart saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour and salt. Stir constantly until smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in the milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Stir in provolone, muenster, mozzarella, and 1/2 cup parmasean cheese. Cook and stir over low heat until the cheeses are melted. Mix in the italian seasoning and garlic powder.

Put 1/4 of the cheese mixture into a 9x13 pan then dot with 3/4 cup ricotta cheese then lay down 4 noodles and repeat that pattern until it is all used up. Bake uncovered and let it stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Garlic Knots

I got this recipe from:
(Mine don't look nearly as pretty as hers!!)
Garlic Knots
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
1 TBS active dry yeast
2 TBS white sugar
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
4 cups bread flour
4-6 cloves garlic finley minced or pressed trough garlic press...
4 TBS butter, melted
Mix the butter and garlic together and let it sit while you make the rolls.
Stir together the water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until it is foamy (about 10 minutes) Add oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes) Lightly oil a large bowl , place dough in and turn once to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, let rise in warm place until doubled (about 1 hour)
Deflate dough, turn onto lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 12-14 equal pieces, form knots by rolling each piece into a 4-6 inch rope, tuck the loose end through the middle of the knot. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet at least 2 inches apart, cover with a damp cloth or greased saran wrap. Let them rise until doubled (about 40 minutes) Cook at 400 degrees. Bake for 12-13 minutes, until golden brown. Immediately brush the garlic butter over the rolls when they come out of the oven.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Alfredo Sauce

Here is another one I got from my dad. I made it the best I've ever made it last night! So tasty and the perfect texture!! I was so excited, I don't like store bought Alfredo sauce, it always has a weird taste to it. We ate this with Gnocchi... I didn't make the Gnocchi, but I found a recipe and will try to make them from scratch sometime, but anyways we had garlic knots also... I'll post that recipe next!!

I didn't measure out the cheese but I'll do my best

Alfredo Sauce

2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
milk (maybe like 2 cups +/-)
garlic salt
just a quick dash of onion powder
a handful of mozzarella cheese (I'd guess about 1/3 cup)
1 TBS Parmesan/Romano
1 slice provolone cheese
2 TBS cream cheese
1 slice Muenster cheese
salt and pepper to taste

***you can pretty much use whatever white cheese you have on hand... just add little bit of each and whatever tastes good to you! :)

Melt the butter it a saucepan over medium heat, add the flour and let it get a little browned. Add the milk I'm just guessing at the 2 cups so just pour it in until it is a little bit thick, constantly stirring with a whisk, so it doesn't clump up. Put a handful of mozzarella cheese in and stir until melted (make sure you don't add too much or it will be too stringy), add the cream cheese, provolone (ripped into pieces) and the muenster also torn into pieces, and the Parmesan/Romano. stir until melted if it is too thick and cheesy add a little more milk until it is a good consistency. Add a little garlic salt to however garlic-y you want it, don't put too much though, you don't want it to be garlic sauce! Then add the onion powder and salt and pepper and just keep tasting it for the right amount.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Daddy's Mac and Cheese

I am so blessed to have grown up with parents who make Delicious food!! This recipe my dad made up... like he does... just throwing things together, little of this, little of that and the results... something AMAZING!!! :) So I tried to measure the things out so I could tell you how to make it... but just know it isn't exact.

Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb Macaroni Pasta
6 TBS butter
1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/3 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/3 cup Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Sour Cream
2 TBS Parmesan/Romano (I have a mix of this cheese but you can just put Parmesan if you don't)
1/4 cup milk + 1/2 cup of milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs or crushed corn flakes
3 TBS butter

Cook the Macaroni as directed, Drain and return to pan. Add the butter and cream cheese to the pasta, stirring until melted. Add cheddar, mozzarella, cream cheese, Parmesan/Romano, and sour cream, mix until cheese is melted. Add 1/4 cup Milk. Salt and Pepper to taste. Spread macaroni into a 9x13 pan. Pour 1/2 cup milk over it evenly to make it creamier.

Melt the 3 TBS butter and mix it with the bread crumbs or crushed corn flakes. Pour evenly over the top of the macaroni.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes

Jello Cake

I guess this isn't really a "recipe" recipe because it is just using mixes but it is dang good!!!

When I was younger living in Connecticut I remember my Aunt Karen making this cake, I've never really liked cake, and I really don't like cake with frosting... weird I know... but this cake is YUMMY, and the "frosting" is pudding!!!

Anyways all you do is make a White cake mix, with the oil, water and egg whites

Bake it and let it cool, then poke it all over with a fork.

Then make a strawberry Jello mix (as directed, with the boiling water/cold water :))and pour it all over the punctured cake.

THEN make dream whip (as directed... not gonna lie I skip this part and put straight up pudding on the cake)And make a box of vanilla pudding as directed... milk... and mix the 2 together with a little red food coloring to make it pretty... we only had green food coloring... that wouldn't have been so pretty! let it chill in the fridge for a few hours and Tada voila, a jello cake!

SO... Everything you need

White cake mix
egg whites
Strawberry Jello mix
Dream Whip... don't know what you need with this ... milk maybe?
Vanilla Pudding Mix

I think I'm going to try to make a chocolate version... with raspberry jello... do they make raspberry??? hope so cuz that sounds good!!! :)