Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cheesy Potato Casserole

On Sunday we decided to make a delicious ham dinner. I love ham dinners during Christmas time (especially the leftovers) and it gave me the perfect opportunity to experiment with side dishes. After searching through my numerous cookbooks, I came across a recipe given to me by a lady in our first married ward. It seemed very easy and our mouths were watering with each bite! I can't believe I waited this long to give it a try! The green onions made this dish extra yummy!


Ingredients:
1 large package of hash browns
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 pint of sour cream
1 cube butter/margarine
1/4 cup chopped green onions (or 2 Tbsp onion flakes)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup crushed cornflakes

Directions:

On the stove mix soup, sour cream, and cube of butter. Heat and stir until well mixed. Add onions and cheese, stir until melted. In a 9 by 13 baking dish, layer the potatoes and soup mixture. Top with crushed cornflakes that have been mixed with the melted butter. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to bake or bake immediately at 350 for 30 minutes.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The BEST and EASIEST Beef Stroganoff EVER

I recently went on a recipe search online and came across this DELICIOUS MEAL!!! Never in my mind did I think it would taste better than I could have imagined! I LOVE making Sunday meals and because we don't get home from church until after lunchtime has passed, I like to make something that will be filling enough to make up for that lost mealtime. Crockpot meals really are my favorite ones to make on days like these. Once we got home, I finished the roux in the crockpot and had garlic bread, salad, and a veggie all prepared within the time it took to cook the noodles! Plus, this beef stroganoff got INCREDIBLE reviews from my hubby, and two boys! We all ate a TON and still had plenty leftover that also freezes very well for a later date! Enjoy! This recipe will go down as one of our favorites for sure!



Original recipe found HERE


INGREDIENTS:

2-3 pounds beef stew meat (I only had one pound and it was still plenty for my family)
1 tsp salt
couple dashes of pepper
1 onion diced
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbl worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups beef broth or stock
1 Tbl ketchup
5-6 Tbl apple juice
1/3 cup flour
4 oz sliced mushrooms (optional)
1/2 cup sour cream



DIRECTIONS:


Place meat in crockpot and add salt, pepper, and onion. In a bowl, mix garlic salt, worcestershire sauce, beef broth, and ketchup. Pour over the meat and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours. (I cooked mine on LOW for about 5 hours and it was done in my crockpot). Make a simple roux in a separate bowl with the flour and apple juice. Wisk the roux into the crockpot and add the mushrooms. Turn on HIGH for about 15-30 minutes and then stir in the sour cream right before serving. Serve over pasta, rice, or baked potatoes. (I had egg noodles on hand and used those!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creamy Potato Soup


There is just something about soup that tastes SO GOOD during the Fall. I got this recipe from a friend, who got it from a friend, who got it from...well you get the point. Im not sure where it was orignated from, but it is a very good soup! I was in the mood for something "comforting" last night for dinner, and thought I would give this a shot. It was very good! I added a couple dashes of red pepper flakes and garlic to mine but I'm sure it would taste good as it is too! I served it with a BLT-AG sandwich (Avacado and smoked Gouda cheese...MMM!) Enjoy!



Ingredients:

8 quartered potatoes (I like the skins on, but you can peel them)
2-4 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium sized onion, diced
4 chicken bouillon cubes, or granules
1/2 cube butter
1 can evaporated milk (or regular milk if that is all you have)
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup (whatever you have)
Parsley
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper
Bacon bits

Directions:

Place potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and chicken bouillon in a large soup pot and fill with water just enough to cover the potatoes. Boil for 30 minutes. Do NOT drain the water. Mash the potatoes a little bit to your liking. Add the butter, milk, and can of cream of mushroom/chicken soup and parsley. Stir together. You can simmer until you are ready to serve. When ready, add the cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Top with the crispy bacon bits.

Next time I make it, I am going to add some pureed calliflower and broccoli so my kids get some extra veggies!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sweet N Sour Chicken (version 2)

Here is another version of my all-time favorite "fake out" meal! This is one that my mother prefers and makes often. I love to make it in the mornings and leave it on the "warmer" until dinner time. It is also fairly EASY! Enjoy!
*My hubby prefers the pineapple tidbits instead of the chunks so you can make it to your liking!
I also use my pre-cooked, shredded chicken from the freezer to make it even easier to throw together.


Ingredients:

1 lb boneless cubed chicken
1 Tbl oil
1 cup green/red pepper strips
1/2 cup onion strips
1 Tbl corn starch
1/4 cup lite soy sauce (low sodium)
1 can (8 oz) chunk pineapple in juice
1 1/2 Tbl lemon juice
3 Tbl brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

Cook chicken in hot oil in large pan until well browned.
Add peppers/onions and cook 1-2 minutes
In a separate bowl wisk the cornstarch and soy sauce making sure that there are no lumps of starch. Add the pineapple and juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic powder.
Pour into pan with chicken and bring to a full boil.
Serve over hot cooked rice

Monday, September 21, 2009

Party Meatballs

This is a great appetizer for any occasion! Each time I take them to a party or football watching get-together, I always leave with my crockpot empty! You can bet that I will serve these at the next Super Bowl Party! :) They make a great hit...and are EXTREMELY EASY! You can also make a meal by serving them over rice/noodles and pairing it with a salad and veggies. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 bag of frozen meatballs (if you use a Costco/Sam's Club bag, use 1/2 - 1/3)
8 oz. Russian salad dressing
15 oz. jellied cranberries
1 onion soup mix packet
8 oz. can crushed pineapple (optional)

Directions:

Place everything in the crockpot and cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Big Papa's Fingerlickin' BBQ Sauce

I am a HUGE FAN of anything drenched in BBQ sauce! It happens to be my favorite condiment and my hubby knows that whenever we go out to eat at a burger joint, he HAS to order me LOTS of sauce! So when my Father-in-Law made some ribs and asked me to taste-test his sauce, I JUMPED on the opportunity! IT WAS AMAZING!!! I seriously think he should try out for the Next Food Network Star...I know he could win with those DELICIOUS RIBS!!! He reluctantly shared the BBQ sauce recipe with me and I couldn't feel more priveleged to share it with you! We now have a full bottle of this stuff in our fridge AT ALL TIMES! Seriously. It is great on everything and SUPER EASY to prepare! My hubby came up with the name, and I printed off the label! Enjoy! :)
*Again, please forgive my blurry picture!


Ingredients:

2 cups bottled bbq sauce (whatever you already have)
1 tsp Creole Seasoning
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup A-1 Steaksauce
1 1/2 Tbl lemon juice
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (you can also try the Chipotle Liquid Smoke for more of a "kick")

Directions:
Place all ingredients into a saucepan
Wisk it all together over medium-low heat until all the sugar is dissolved and everything is combined well

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

To Die For Blueberry Muffins

My friend Shannon submitted this recipe into our ward cookbook and the name is a PERFECT fit for these muffins!  Seriously.  My hubby LOVES blueberry muffins and when he tried these babies he was in HEAVEN.  They are super MOIST and the crumb topping is AMAZING.  I seriously could go on and on so you are just going to have to try these out for yourself and see.... I promise you will agree that these blueberry muffins REALLY are TO DIE FOR!!!  Thanks Shannon for sharing our family's ABSOLUTE favorite blueberry muffin recipe EVER!


Ingredients:

1 1/2 C all-purpose flour (1/2 white & 1/2 wheat works fine)
3/4 C white sugar
1/2 t salt
2 t baking powder
1/3 C vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 C milk
1 C fresh blueberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Combine 1 1/2 C flour, 3/4 C sugar, salt and baking powder.
Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup.
Mix egg, oil and milk mixture with the flour mixture.
Fold in blueberries.
Fill muffin cups to the top and sprinkle with crumb topping.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. 


Crumb Topping:

Ingredients:

1/2 C white sugar
1/3 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C butter
1 1/2 t cinnamon

Directions:

To make topping mix together 1/2 C sugar, 1/3 C flour, 1/4 C butter and 1 1/2 t cinnamon.
Mix with fork and sprinkle over muffins before baking.  


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sister Ballard's Famous Cinnamon Rolls

Sister Ballard has ALWAYS been known throughout the ward for her famous cinnamon rolls.  These were always the item EVERYONE would talk about and try to outbid one another at all of the ward auctions. Her recipe really makes the BEST cinnamon rolls... not too gooey, not too dry and perfectly sweet!


Roll Dough Ingredients:

1 T sugar
1-2 pkgs dry yeast or 1 T bulk yeast 
2 T warm water
1/2 C margarine or butter
1/2 C sugar
2 large eggs
1 t salt
1 C very warm water
4 C flour

Directions:

Add sugar and yeast to water.  Stir with plastic or wood spoon to dissolve yeast.  Let stand.
Cream together margarine or butter, sugar, eggs and salt.  Beat well.
Add 1 C very warm water to the yeast mixture.  
Mix in 4 C of flour, beat in mixer and put in bowl.  Cover to rise.
Let rise until doubled in bulk about 1-2 hours (this can be refrigerated, cover with a damp cloth until ready to use).

To make Cinnamon Rolls:

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  
Roll out dough into an oblong shape.
Spread with butter and brown sugar, sprinkle with cinnamon and add raisins if desired.
Roll into a roll and slice about 1-1 1/2 inch slices.
Place in greased pan and allow to rise about 1/2 hour.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until brown.
Frost hot out of the oven.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 C butter, softened
1 t vanilla
2-2 1/2 C powdered sugar

Blend all ingredients together with a mixer.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pome-Granola-Vanana Parfait

This has been one of my favorite breakfast meals the last couple weeks. My sister Christie has been in town and we got talking about our favorite things from Trader Joe's. One day I went to visit with her and she told me how yummy this meal was! Since then I have been hooked! I am not huge into eating breakfast, but do know just how important it is for your body. I try to make the most of what I intake and make sure that everything has a good amount of nutritional value! All of the ingredients I got from Trader Joe's (my FAVORITE grocery store) and it all tastes DELICIOUS!!! My hubby, and two boys prefer this over cereal any day! This meal is packed with nutrients and gives my body its energy boost! It is easy to customize the parfait to your liking by just adding your favorite berries (fresh or frozen) and use what you have on hand. I like to make a couple of these to keep in my fridge for when I am craving a sweet snack! :) This is seriously SO GOOD!!! Enjoy! Sorry about the picture....I wasn't planning on sharing this until the very last minute!

Ingredients:

Vanana Yogurt (its a vanilla-banana blend)
Vanilla Almond Granola
Pomegranate Arils (you can find these packaged, all-ready-to-eat)

Directions:

Spoon some yogurt on the bottom of a serving dish
Sprinkle some granola over
Layer some more yogurt
Again, sprinkle more granola and top with some pomegranate arils

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jennifer's Hot Artichoke Dip

This recipe is one that my sister Jen is known for in our family.  She makes this on special occasions and it ALWAYS disappears fast!  It is super EASY and takes only minutes just to whip up and pop in the oven.  This definitely is packed full of fat and calories but is so worth it!  Sorry I didn't get a better picture.  I was so hungry and didn't have the patience to actually try to take a good enough picture for this post!


Ingredients:

1 (14oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 C mayo
1 C Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients and pour into an 8x8 baking dish.
Bake for 20-25 minutes and serve warm with tortilla chips, toasted bread, pita bites, etc.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Yummy Wraps

Below are some great ways to enjoy a healthy, light lunch! Thanks to my sisters Stephanie and Christie for sharing them with me! Stephanie's tastes delicious for picnics out by the pool and are so refreshing. Christie's is such a great and yummy way to get your protein and fruit, plus it has peanut butter on it...my favorite! Mmmmm! Enjoy!

*if you don't have a Trader Joes near you, you can just use your favorite tortilla, pita, or flat our bread, but I think that the Lavash Bread from Trader Joes is the BEST!



Stephanie's Sandwich Wrap

Ingredients:

Trader Joe's Lavash Bread
Cream Cheese and Chive Cream Cheese (I usually just snip some fresh chives in some Light Cream Cheese and mix)
Peppered Turkey
Provolone Cheese
Romaine Lettuce
Red Pepper, sliced
Oregano
Pepper

Directions:
Take a piece of Lavash Bread and lay out onto counter
Spread a little Cream Cheese and Chive mixture onto the bread
Lay on a piece of turkey, and cheese
Add a crisp slice of romaine lettuce, and a couple slices of red pepper
Sprinkle some oregano and pepper
Wrap up and slice in half
Serve with some fresh fruit or a fruit smoothie for a complete meal

Christie's Apple and Peanut Butter Granola Wrap
*picture coming soon

Ingredients:

Piece of Whole Wheat Lavash Bread from Trader Joe's
Peanut Butter, your favorite kind
Gala Apple, sliced and cored
Granola, homemade or your favorite kind
Honey, optional

Directions:
Spread a layer of peanut butter onto the lavash bread
Place some apple slices on top
Sprinkle Granola
Drizzle with a little bit of honey
Roll up and slice in half

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Shredded Beef Chimichangas

If you are like me and try to come up with ways to change up the usual Sunday roast dinner or use any leftover shredded meat, this recipe is for you! It is super easy, and fun to dress up! I had extra Homemade Flour Tortillas in the freezer, and whipped up some Guacamole to top it off! These are sure to give you a Mexican fix! :)



Ingredients:

Shredded Beef (cooked and seasoned)
Homemade Flour Tortillas (or whatever you have on hand)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red onion (diced)
Sour Cream (optional)
Olives (optional)
Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce, or your favorite store bought kind (try Old El Paso's, they are my favorite when I do not have time for homemade)
Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Directions:

Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Place a tortilla on the counter and put a little bit of meat in the middle. Add some cheese and fold up. [I like to fold mine by folding in the sides and taking the bottom (closest to me) and rolling it to the top.] Gently place in the hot oil and wait until the bottom is browned, but not burnt. Carefully flip it over and fry till browned on the bottom. Take the chimichanga out of the oil and place on some napkins or paper towel to drain any excess oil. To assemble the toppings, pour some enchilada sauce over the tortilla, sprinkle some cheese, add some red onions and olives, and give a dollop of guacamole, and sour cream.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Original German Pancakes

This is a recipe that my hubby grew up on and today is a staple in our own home.  It is super SIMPLE and takes just seconds to whip up!  We actually make it at least once a week, usually Sunday mornings, and I LOVE it because I don't have to stand over a hot griddle making individual pancakes for everyone.  


Ingredients:

1/2 cube butter (1/4 C)
6 eggs
1 C flour
1 C milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Lightly spray a 9x13 dish with cooking spray.
Place butter in dish and place in oven to melt while oven is preheating.
In the meantime, whip rest of the ingredients up in a bowl.
Once oven is preheated, take dish out and pour egg mixture over melted butter.
Bake for 25 minutes or until sides are puffed up and browned.
Cut into squares and serve with additional butter, syrup and powdered sugar. 

Friday, July 3, 2009

All American Flag Cake

This cake recipe is super LIGHT, EASY and REFRESHING.  I love it because it is so SIMPLE to make and you can totally let your kids get involved with the decorating.  Sorry my picture shows only half of the cake!  My friend's birthday is actually on the 4th, and since our family is so small, I decided to make two square cakes, one for her and one for us, instead of one 9X13.


Ingredients:

1 box white cake mix
1 (8oz) container of  frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), thawed
Blueberries
Strawberries, cut in half

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the cake mix according to package directions.
Pour in greased 9x13 pan.
Bake for 27-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Allow to cool completely before decorating.
Decorate by spreading with whipped topping and making the stars portion with the blueberries and the stripes with the strawberries.... Have a HAPPY 4th!!!!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Stuffed Shells

My mother made these for us growing up and I completely forgot how GOOD they really are until I whipped them up last week. We are trying to have at least one MEATLESS night a week and this was surely one that DID NOT DISSAPOINT! They seemed to just MELT IN OUR MOUTHS! Magic!!!

*If you have not noticed by now, I am by no means a great photographer. I finally came to the conclusion that I am in need of a better camera (preferably one that was not bought by my hubby while on his foreign mission, because local repair stores do not carry the parts). Please do not let my bad camera skills fool you. I promise that all recipes I post are DELICIOUS! :)

Ingredients:

18 jumbo pasta shells, uncooked
1 package frozen chopped spinach
1 container ricotta cheese (15 oz)
2 cups Italian blend cheese, shredded
1/4 cup milk OR 3/4 cup half and half, divided
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 garlic clove (pressed or minced)
1/2 tsp basil leaves
1/2 tsp oregano
dash of salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce OR 1 Jar spaghetti sauce (26 oz)

Directions:

Thaw, drain, and sqeeze-dry the spinach and place in large mixing bowl. Cook pasta shells accoriding to the package directions and drain well. While the pasta is cooking add the ricotta cheese to the spinach in the bowl. Add only 1 1/2 cups of the Italian cheese blend and the 1/4 cup milk OR 1/4 cup half and half. Fold in the Paremsan cheese and add the garlic and seasonings. Mix well and set aside. In another bowl, wisk the spaghetti sauce and remaining 1/2 cup half and half. Save 1 cup of sauce for later and spread the remaining sauce into a large baking dish. Fill each cooked shell with some of the spinach-cheese mixture and place into baking dish. Top each shell evenly with the reserved sauce and cover. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Take off the cover and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Italian cheese blend. Bake again for 5-10 minutes and remove from oven. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Roasted Potatoes

This is my FAVORITE way to make potatoes lately!  The onion soup mix adds so much FLAVOR and color to the potatoes.  This recipe is really super EASY but tastes like it was much harder to prepare because of the YUMMY flavor!  




Ingredients:

2-3lbs potatoes (I like using red)
1/3 C oil
1 envelope of dry onion soup mix
Fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Wash and cut the potatoes into chunks.
Place potatoes in a zip lock bag.
Add the oil and soup mix.
Close the bag and mix until potatoes are fully coated in mixture.
Place on lightly greased pan (either 9x13 or jelly roll).
Bake in oven for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from pan and top with fresh parsley.
 

Monday, June 22, 2009

Garlic Bread on the Grill

This is my ABSOLUTE favorite way to make garlic bread!  My hubby even claims that it is the BEST garlic bread he has EVER had. I don't know what it is but EVERYTHING seems to taste so much better off the barbeque.  Grilling the bread gives it more of a sweeter flavor. Anyways, this would make for a perfect accompaniment if you are ever grilling chicken, steaks, shish-kabobs, pizza or really anything on the barbeque.  


Ingredients:

1 loaf of french bread
1/2 C buttered, softened
1/2 t garlic powder
Rosemary (fresh or dried)
Parsley (fresh or dried)

Directions:

Mix the butter, garlic powder and seasonings in a bowl.
Without cutting through the bottom, cut the french bread loaf into 1 inch slices.
Spread butter mixture on both sides of slices.
Wrap in foil and place on top shelf of grill.
Grill about 10-15 minutes.   

Friday, June 19, 2009

Christie's Chicken Curry Casserole

I am posting this recipe for my sister Christie.  This is one of her FAVORITE casseroles and is super QUICK to make.  Now, if you are a curry lover, use the whole amount the recipe calls for.  But if you are like me and only like it sparingly, cut the amount in half or even one fourths of what is recommended.  Pair this up with Mama Taylor's Homemade Rolls and the Yummy Salad, and you have a total COMFORT meal!  




Ingredients:

1 C steamed/blanched broccoli, chopped
1 chicken breast, cooked and cubed (small)
1 1/2 C cooked rice
1/2 C mayo
1 T lemon juice
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 t curry powder
2 C shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix all ingredients, reserving 1 C cheese on the side, in a large bowl.
Pour into a lightly greased pie dish.
Top with the reserved 1 C cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serve in pie wedges.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Twice Baked Potatoes

I love mashed potatoes and enjoy jazzing them up a bit! Yesterday I made a roasted whole chicken (recipe will be coming soon) and served these as a side dish. Not only do they taste delish, they look quite tasty too! This picture is courtesy of Kraft Foods because I completely forgot to take a pic before we ate...we were starving! :)

Ingredients:

baking potatoes
butter
milk
garlic salt
pepper
sour cream
parmesan cheese (or whatever you have on hand)

Directions:

Clean the potatoes and bake in preheated oven (350 degrees) for an hour. (you want to bake them just until a knife can slide thru them...try not to overbake) Remove them from the oven and slice lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the inside of the potatoes leaving about 1/4 of an inch still intact to the skin. Place all the scoopings in a bowl and add some butter, milk, garlic salt, pepper, cheese, and a dallop of sour cream. I don't do measurements with these ingredients so just add what you think. If you like other things in your potatoes, add those too....whatever you like! Mix until all smooth with a hand mixer and carefully scoop back into the potato skins. At this point you can place them in the fridge covered, and wait until you are ready to serve. About 30 minutes before serving, place them in the oven at 350 for about 30-40 minutes, or until warmed and browned. This also works well with red potatoes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Amish White Bread

This recipe makes super DELICIOUS white bread.  I found this recipe on the allrecipes website while visiting my in-laws who happen to live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  No, they are not Amish but they are basically next door neighbors! It's so neat to see the Amish lifestyle while driving alongside their horse and buggies and passing by all of the laundry lines filled with clothes waiting to dry.  

This makes a sweeter dough and would be great to use as rolls or cinnamon rolls if you choose not to make loaves.     


Ingredients:

2 C warm water
2/3 C white sugar
1 1/2 T active dry yeast
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 C vegetable oil
6 C flour

Directions:

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in the warm water, then add the yeast.  Allow yeast to activate and foam.
Add salt and oil into the yeast mixture.  Add flour, one cup at a time, to the mixture.  
Knead dough until smooth.  
Spray another large bowl with cooking spray.
Place the dough in the oiled bowl and cover with cloth or plastic wrap.
Allow to rise until dough doubles.
Punch down dough and knead for a few minutes; divide in half.
Shape into loaves and place in two greased 9x5 loaf pans.
Cover with cloth and allow to rise until double.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Lemon Zucchini Cupcakes

I have been on a lemon kick lately and last weekend I decided to make these FABULOUS cupcakes!  I found the recipe on Grouprecipes.com and absolutely love it.  These are super SIMPLE and QUICK to make.  Don't let the zucchini scare you at all!  It actually takes the place of the oil and water you would typically add to any cake mix recipe and provides ALL of the moisture and even a bit of color.  

Now this is actually a cake recipe, but since I have a smaller family, I prefer to make cupcakes so I can freeze any leftovers.  First, I place the leftover frosted cupcakes on a cookie sheet. Then I put them in the freezer for the next couple of hours.  Once frozen, I place them all in a container or Ziploc bag.  That way when we feel like something sweet, we just pull out a cupcake and allow it to sit out for about 15 minutes.  It tastes just as FRESH and MOIST as it did the day you made it!  



Lemon Zucchini Cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 box lemon cake mix
1 (4oz) pkg instant lemon pudding
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 C zucchini, peeled and grated
1-2 t grated lemon zest (depending on your taste)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix all cake ingredients for about 3 minutes.
Pour into muffin cups.
Bake for 25-30 minutes (depending on oven), or until tops are light brown.
Remove cupcakes and allow to completely cool.
Once cooled, frost with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

4 T butter, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 C powdered sugar (more or less)
1-2 t grated lemon zest (depending on taste)
1-2 t fresh lemon juice (depending on taste)
*A little milk


Directions:

Cream together butter and cream cheese.
Add powdered sugar, lemon zest and juice and mix well.
*Depending on your preference when it comes to the consistency of the frosting, you may want to add about 1-2 T of milk to the frosting.  

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Root Beer Cookies

I love making a fun dessert for FHE's and when I saw these on my friend's blog, I knew I had to give them a try yesterday! I am a HUGE (and I mean H-U-G-E) fan of both root beer AND cookies and thought this would make a great combo! The cookies turned out SUPER SOFT AND MOIST! This recipe does make a ton of small cookies so be prepared to share some with neighbors or half the recipe. My husband claims that these are a cross between gingerbread and sugar cookies...you be the judge!



Ingredients:

2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup water
2 tsp. root beer concentrate
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together brown sugar and butter. Add the eggs, water, and root beer concentrate and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir dry ingredients into the large bowl with the sugar and eggs and mix well. The dough will be sticky though. Drop teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes making sure to not over bake. Frost with Root Beer Frosting, below. (My oven gets hotter than normal so I only baked mine for 9 minutes and they turned out perfectly cooked)

Root Beer Frosting

Ingredients:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 Tbls. root beer concentrate
1 Tbls hot water

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except water. Slowly add half the water and mix well. If needed, add the remaining half of the water. Frost on cooled cookies.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Homemade Flour Tortillas

It seems that my cravings for food are becoming more and more specific now that I am further along in my pregnancy.  Last week, I was REALLY craving fajitas with homemade tortillas and was finally able to fulfill my pregnancy need last night.  This was my very first time actually making homemade tortillas and, like bread, I will NEVER go back to store bought.  These are more FLAVORFUL, super SOFT and just melt in your mouth with every bite!  

A full batch of these makes about 60 tortillas so I had to freeze most of mine.  If you don't need or want to make as many, just half the recipe.  I got this recipe from one of my mom's old ward cookbooks and I have to say that the lady who submitted it was known for her Mexican fare.  Again, these are SUPER YUMMY and definitely well worth the effort! 


Ingredients:

11 C regular flour
1 C shortening
2 T salt
2 T baking powder
5 C boiling water
1 C extra flour

Directions:

Mix first 4 ingredients.  When all is mixed, add water gradually and knead until smooth.
Line cookie sheets with wax paper.  Make small balls (all the same size); flatten with fist so they will take on a round shape.
Place on cookie sheet and cover with another piece of wax paper; then cover with cotton towel.
Let cool 2-3 hours, dough has to be cold (do not refrigerate though).
Pat well into extra flour and start rolling from center of dough.
Roll up and down evenly; do not over press.
The first few times all you are trying to do is shape the tortilla, when tortilla is the size start applying pressure.  This dough is very pliable and easy to handle.
In hot skillet (medium-high), cook tortillas only for a few seconds on each side.  (Do not use an electric skillet as it does not get hot enough.)
Place cooked tortillas on a cotton towel to cool, not touching each other.
After they are completely cool, you can stack and freeze them.
 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yummy Salad

I am not quite sure where this recipe originated from, but this salad is a MUST when my big family gathers together for a meal. It is VERY, VERY YUMMY and light! Even the youngsters love this dish and if you aren't fast, it tends to vanish very quickly! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 bag iceburg lettuce
1/2 bag baby spinach
1 small can of drained mandarin oranges (not pictured...I forgot to add those)
1/2 red onion sliced
1 cup craisins
1/4 cup sliced honey-glazed almonds
1 package sliced swiss cheese (cut into chunks)
1 bottle poppyseed dressing (our favorite is Brianna's)

Directions:

Add all the ingredients and toss together. Serve immediately. If you want to prepare this the day before, mix everything together minus the oranges and dressing. Right before serving, toss in the dressing and oranges.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Grandmother Taylor's Peanut Butter Cornflake Bars

Whenever our Grandmother Taylor would come to visit us she would ALWAYS bring these super YUMMY treats!  They didn't last long, and since our family was so BIG, I remember there only being enough for each of us to only have one.  Now, her original recipe does not include the chocolate butterscotch topping, but I am the type of girl who ALWAYS likes a little chocolate with her peanut butter treats.  Whichever way you decide to make these, you won't be disappointed!



Ingredients:

1/2 C corn syrup
1/2 C sugar
1 C peanut butter
2 C cornflakes

Directions:

Dissolve sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to BARELY a boil.
Remove from heat.
Stir in peanut butter and cornflakes.
Press into buttered 8x8 square pan.
Pour over Chocolate Butterscotch Topping.
Let cool completely and cut into bars.

Chocolate Butterscotch Topping

Ingredients:

1/2 C chocolate chips
1/2 C butterscotch chips

Directions:

Place in microwave safe bowl and melt together in microwave.
Pour over Peanut Butter Cornflake Bars.

    

Friday, May 29, 2009

Layered Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

I received this recipe from an Enrichment class about 2 years ago and it has become one of our FAVORITES ever since!  This is so EASY and only takes a few minutes to whip up once you have all of the ingredients.  It is VERY versatile and you can totally add or substitute ingredients to your liking.  I like adding extra enchilada sauce, 1 can of corn (drained) and often substitute 1 can of diced tomatoes w/green chile's (drained) if I don't have green chile's on hand.  You can even leave out the chicken (if you forgot to cook it, just don't have any on hand or don't prefer meat) and make it vegetarian style by adding one can of corn. 


Ingredients:

1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can corn, drained (optional) 
1 (4 oz) can diced green chile's 
2 C chicken, cooked and cubed
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce (I ALWAYS add more though)
8 corn tortillas (I often use 12 and put an extra layer on top)
1 (8 oz) container sour cream
1 1/2 C Mexican cheese blend, shredded (or whatever you have on hand)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly grease pan (11x7) with cooking spray.
In medium size bowl, combine black beans, corn, chicken and diced green chile's; set aside.
Place small amount of enchilada sauce in bottom of pan, just enough to coat.
Layer first 4 tortillas.
Add 1/2 of chicken mixture, 1/2 C cheese, 1/2 of the enchilada sauce and dollop, randomly, 1/2 of the sour cream.
Repeat the layers using the rest of the ingredients.
Cover and bake for 40 minutes.  
Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 C cheese and bake, uncovered, for an additional 10-15 minutes. 
In a medium size bowl

     

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tomato, Garlic, and Basil Chicken Burgers

I LOVE BBQ meals! Last summer, Christie made these for us sisters at a little get together and I completely fell in love! They are super easy and fun to assemble, plus the marinated chicken is very tasty! This is a GREAT ALTERNATIVE to the traditional beef patties! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Chicken breast or tenderloin strips (boneless/skinless)
1 packet Tomato, Garlic, Basil Marinade Seasoning by McCormick (found in the Taco Seasoning section)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Red Onion slices
Green Pepper Slices
Lettuce
favorite condiments
Onion-style hamburger buns

Directions:
In a large plastic bag, combine the seasoning packet, water, oil, balsamic vinegar and chicken. Mix well and place in fridge to marinate.
When ready to serve, cook the chicken on the BBQ, or bake in the oven (covered) at 400 until no longer pink and cooked through.
Toast buns and place sliced chicken onto each bun and top with your favorite condiments.