11.23.2009

Persian Rice (and Bogaly Rice-Rice with Lima Beans!)

Ingredients:
2-6 cups Basmati Rice
Vegetable oil
Salt
*if Bogaly Rice* Dill and frozen Lima Beans

Steps:
First get a big bowl and put as much rice in it as your going to use, then rinse the rice with cold water until the rice water is clear and not milky. Fill bowl up with water and add salt about 2 tablespoons.

When the rice is soaked, after at least an hour
Fill a large pan over half full of water and pour salt going 7 times around. Boil.
Then pour the water out of bowl rice was soaking in and add to boiling water.
Boil until rice dances to the surface and is segmented, around 5 min.
Then strain the rice and rinse with a little cold water.
Then put an equal amount of water and veg. oil at the bottom of the pan, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. **If making Bogoly Rice, put an equal amount of dill and Lima beans in between each rice layer!** Take spoon and gently put rice on the bottom of the pan,carefully spooning it around, making a mound in the middle. When all the rice is in the pan again, take the end of the spoon and make 6 holes to the bottom of the pan in the rice pile.
Cover pan and cook on med-high for 4 min. rotating the pan every 4 min and turning down the heat each time. After about 16 min, add 3 tablespoons of veg. oil and water mix into the 6 holes made previously. Place a paper towel on top of the pan and put dried lid back on pan. Continue to cook rice and turn every 4 min. Do this for about 20 more min and when rice is done, paper towel should be soaked through and rice sould not be sticky!
Spoon rice onto plate, then after rice is out, gather the tudick, or hardened rice at the bottom of the pan. Let that tudick rice cool and harden and bit and enjoy!

11.07.2009

Chicken with Artichokes and Angel Hair Pasta




(image and recipe courtesy martha stewart's website)

¼ cup all-purpose flour
6-8 chicken breasts
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup of low sodium chicken broth
1 14oz can artichoke hearts packed in water, rinsed and drained.
2 tablespoons of drained capers (optional)
2 tablespoons of butter
8oz angel hair pasta
½ cup parsley leaves

In a shallow dish, place flour and season with salt and pepper. Coat chicken breast with flour and salt/pepper mixture. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high. Place chicken breast in the skillet and cook until chicken is light golden on both sides and cooked on the inside. While the chicken is cooking cook the angel pasta as directed on the package.
Once the chicken has been fully cooked, transfer chicken to a dish and set aside. Add the chicken broth to the skillet where the chicken was fried and bring to boil; cook until the broth is reduced by half. Then add artichokes, capers and chicken to the chicken broth mixture. Swirl to combine and bring just to a boil. Remove skillet from heat and swirl in butter.
Serve chicken and chicken broth sauce over pasta and topped with parsley.

* To add a bit of more flavor to the meal, I would add some garlic and use seasoned artichokes instead of plain canned artichokes.

Beagle Pizzas

8 beagles cut in half
1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 medium can of pizza sauce
1 bag of small pepperoni sliced (I just got the pepperoni that they sell at the Deli Dept. in IGA)

Cut beagles in half. Pour pizza sauce evenly over bagel halves. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over pizza sauce and add pepperonis on top of cheese. Bake beagle pizza's at 325 degrees until cheese is melted and beagle is a crispy. I love this recipe. I make it when I don't have much time to make a big meal for dinner. I usually serve the pizzas with a side of salad or soup.

11.06.2009

Liquid Laundry Detergent

Here is something totally different! This isn't the typical recipe that is shared on this site, but hopefully it can be useful to someone. I had never heard of these ingredients before I made this soap and so I had no idea what I was looking for, I have taken a picture of the ingredients so you won't have the trouble I did. I found everything in the Laundry aisle at my grocery store. I hope the Grenada girls can find what they need as this stuff works WAY better than that awful Breeze detergent. All the ingredients together cost around $5 and will last you for several batches. I have not priced it exactly but I have been told that 1 batch costs less than $1! For my family of 3 and being generous in the amount of soap I use 1 batch lasts me 6 weeks. As you can see in the picture Plastic juice bottles are the perfect storage containers. Can you tell I like it!?

1/3 bar grated Fels Naptha Soap
1/2 cup Washing Soda or sodium carbonate (NOT sodium bicarbonate)
1/2 cup Borax

You will need a small bucket (2 gallon size).
Put grated Fels Naptha into a large sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat, until soap melts. Add Washing Soda & Borax. Stir until dissolved & remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Add soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon (16 cups) plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours. It will gel. Use 1/2 cup per load.

11.01.2009

Pumpkin Donuts


Dustin's Family Recipe, they are delicious and a perfect touch of fall!

5 eggs beaten
11/2 c sugar
1/3 c melt margarine
1 16oz canned pumpkin
1 Tbl pumpkin pie spice
11/2 tsp salt
1/2tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Beat eggs with sugar until lemony in color
Blend in margarine and pumpkin. Sift together flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Mix with all other ingredients
Cover and chill overnight.
Roll out on heavily floured cloth about 1/4in thick. Cut out and fry in hot oil on both sides until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Roll in sugar and cinnamon to taste.

I found canned pumpkin at Food Fair. Let me know if you loves these as much as we do!

10.26.2009

Olive Oil Lime-Garlic Marinade

This is for you Lyndzee! :)

This is an easy delicious marinade that can be used on any meat, fish, or veggies. Last night I marinated chicken and veggies, cooked them in a skillet, and served them over brown rice. It was quite yummy!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Marinate time: 4 hours to overnight

RECIPE TIP: This marinade can be made quickly in a blender or food processor, or if desired, mince garlic and combine with the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Use it to marinate meat or your favorite fresh summer vegetables.

Ingredients
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil (I used less)
1/3 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons grated lime peel
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions
In blender or food processor, with machine running, add garlic. Add remaining ingredients. Process until blended; scraping down sides, if necessary. Pour marinade into bowl or plastic food storage bag. Add about 2 pounds meat or 4 to 5 cups vegetables; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate**. Marinate 4 hours to overnight. Grill or broil meat. Serve vegetables with slotted spoon.

Makes about 1 cup marinade

**If desired, vegetables can be marinated at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.

10.24.2009

Cayenne Chicken with Avocado Salsa

I made this tonight for dinner and we loved it! This is a super easy recipe and it only takes 30 min. I got this recipe from Martha Stewart’s website. We ate this with a side of vegetables and couscous. Hope you guys like it as much as we did.

1 teaspoon salt (I used half of that)
¼ pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 avocado cubed

In a small bowl combine salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and rub mixture all over chicken breasts. In a skillet, heat oil over medium. Add chicken and cook until is fully cooked. While the chicken is cooking, in a medium bowl combine red onion and lime juice and set aside. Just before serving add avocado to onion and lime juice mixture and season with salt and pepper.
Serve chicken topped with avocado salsa.

Tangy Pork Chops

I got this recipe from the Kraft website. They have easy and delicious meals. Enjoy!

6 Pork chops
1 package of Stove Top Stuffing Mix (Chicken)
1 16oz can of whole berry cranberry sauce
¾ cup Barbecue Sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Cook pork chops in a skillet until they are brown on both sides. Prepare stuffing as directed on package.

Place pork chops to a 9x13 baking pan. In a medium bowl mix cranberry sauce, barbecue sauce and sugar and mix stuffing mix. Pour mixture over pork shops and bake at 325 for 30 min or until pork chops are evenly cooked.

10.22.2009

Baked Chicken Fingers with Mango Dipping Sauce



We love this recipe! It's a delicious lowfat version of chicken fingers and the mango dipping sauce is really yummy too! Although, I had to make some revisions to the mango recipe because I didn't have all the ingredients - see my side not on the mango sauce. If you don't have mangos, you can eat the chicken with ketchup, bbq sauce, ranch dressing, or whatever dipping sauce you like. And the chicken makes great leftovers! I've chopped up the leftover chicken fingers and used them for salads - delicious! I even used them with spaghetti and parmesan cheese to make a sort of chicken parmesan dish. The sky is really the limit with these chicken fingers!

Baked Chicken Fingers

Ingredients
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup corn flakes or toasted rice cereal, crushed
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
½ cup all purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 to 2 pounds chicken breast tenders or boneless breasts, cut into 1“inch strips

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Mix bread crumbs, cereal, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl or casserole dish. Drizzle oil evenly over the breading, then mix in.

Arrange three shallow containers, one with the flour, one with the beaten eggs, and one with the bread crumb mixture. Individually dip chicken tenders into flour, then eggs (letting excess run off), then breading mixture. Arrange breaded chicken pieces on the cookie sheet.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until crisp and brown all over. Serve with mango dipping sauce (recipe below).

Mango Dipping Sauce

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cups ripe mango, peeled and diced into 1/4“inch pieces
¼ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (2 to 3 limes, squeezed)

SIDE NOTE: I didn't have some of the ingredients so I substituted sugar for honey, used mango orange juice instead of plain orange juice, used white vinegar instead of seasoned rice wine vinegar, and skipped the lime juice - and it still came out really tasty. I also didn't have enough mango so I just cut down on the ingredients and eyeballed the amounts.

Directions
Heat oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add onion and cook, stirring, about 7 minutes, or until translucent but not browning. Add mango, orange juice, and nectar or honey to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes more, or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vinegar and lime juice, adding more to taste, if desired. Serve alongside chicken fingers warm or at room temperature.

10.21.2009

Home fries

I make these occasionally for breakfast. Frozen hash browns are easier and faster, but there is nothing like the homemade version. If you have the time, they are worth it.

Cube as many potatoes as you think you will need. For two adults I usually cube about 5 small-to-medium sized potatoes and that may result in some leftover. Depends on potato size.

Cook potatoes in the microwave to soften them up. Five to 10 minutes depending on how many potatoes you have. Could cook longer if you want this process to be faster. Meanwhile, dice an onion. Bell pepper too if you have one.

Throw vegetables in a pan with a little oil to coat. Add generous amounts of season salt (I love Lawry's Season Salt but it is hard to find in Grenada - generic version will do).

Stir occasionally until potatoes brown and are soft. About 20 minutes. Sample potatoes if you are not sure.

Cowboy cavier


While avocados are in season in Grenada, this makes a fantastic dish. A crowd pleaser at any occasion. It's like a fancy, fresh, tasty variation on salsa but hardier because it has beans in it. I made it once and then made it again just a few days later because I was craving it.

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salad oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 firm-ripe avocado (about 10 oz.)
1 can (15 oz.) black-eyed peas
1 can (11 oz.) corn kernels
2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 pound Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Salt

1 bag (6 oz.) tortilla chips or 2 cups finely shredded cabbage
Preparation
1. In a large bowl, mix vinegar, hot sauce, oil, garlic, and pepper. Peel, pit, and cut avocado into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to vinegar mixture and mix gently to coat.

2. Drain and rinse peas and corn. Add peas, corn, onions, cilantro, and tomatoes to avocado; mix gently to coat. Add salt to taste. Serve pea mixture with chips as an appetizer, or add cabbage and mix to make a salad.


I served with chips, not cabbage. If cilantro isn't available that's o.k., it still tastes great. I mixed everything together in one bowl, skipping the two-step process, and it turned out fine.

Fish cakes

C.J. went on a fishing trip and came back with a 25-pound Wahoo. I cooked up a huge portion of it, and we ate some of it one night as fillets. Dreading five more days of fish fillets, I found this recipe for the cooked fish leftovers. It was delicious!! Since the fish was already cooked it was not such a hard process - just mix and fry in the pan.


4 to 5 med. size (or 2 lbs. raw meat) fresh trout
1/4 c. diced onion
1/2 c. salad dressing
2 eggs
1 tbsp. parsley flakes
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. Seafood seasoning
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Season salt
1 c. bread crumbs
2 c. Italian bread crumbs

Pan fry trout for 6 minutes each side or until flakes easily with a fork. Remove from heat, cool. Remove skin and de-bone. Add remaining ingredients except Italian bread crumbs. Mix well. Shape into 3 inch round patties. Roll in Italian bread crumbs.

Fish cakes can be baked in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or pan fried until golden brown. Fish cakes can be frozen (unbaked or fried) for 6 months.

Makes 12 fish cakes.

I used Wahoo instead of trout, obviously. And cajun seasoning instead of seafood seasoning. And I used Italian bread crumbs inside and for the outside coating (although didn't need a whole two cups for outside coating). And I fried them in a little oil.

10.20.2009

Pumpkin Cake

Ingredients:
1 yellow cake mix
1/2 cup margarine/butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 cup pumpkin
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger
3 eggs
1/2 cup evaporated canned milk
1/2 cup regular milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup margarine
whipped cream

Directions:
Take yellow cake mix and set aside 1 cup. Mix remaining cake mix with margarine/butter and one egg. Press into bottom of a greased 9x13 cake pan. (It will be very sticky.)

Mix together pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, 3 eggs, milks and vanilla. Pour into cake pan on top of cake mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine remaining 1 cup dry cake mix, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 cup margarine/butter (cut into small pieces). Sprinkle on top of pumpkin mixture. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Cool. Serve topped with whipped cream.

10.11.2009

Veggie Mac n' Cheese


If you are low on meat but still want to make something filling, this is a great recipe to try. I found it on Shape.com (Shape Magazine's website - they have a lot of great recipes) and it turned out pretty well. The thing I love about Shape recipes is that they often give you the nutrition score per serving (see below recipe). The only veggie that the recipe calls for is diced tomatoes but since Ryan doesn't like tomatoes I added some chopped broccoli and diced red bell peppers instead, which I definitely recommend - they added color, flavor, and a little extra nutritional value :) Enjoy!

Veggie Mac 'n Cheese

Ingredients:

1 12-ounce box of uncooked elbow macaroni
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 12-ounce can evaporated fat-free milk (or 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk)
4 ounces (1 cup) reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon black ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons bread crumbs, dried
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain and reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water. Transfer pasta to a large bowl. While pasta is still hot, stir in sour cream, reserved pasta water, and diced tomatoes. Set aside.

Scald milk by heating it in a medium saucepan over medium heat until tiny bubbles appear around the edges. Add cheese, mustard, pepper, and nutmeg. Simmer, stirring constantly, until cheese melts.

Fold cheese mixture into the pasta and transfer to a casserole dish (mixture will be thin but will thicken as it bakes).

Mix together bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over pasta.

Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Nutrition Score per serving:
(2 cups) 484 calories, 466 mg calcium, 79 g carbs, 7 g fat (12% of calories), 4 g fiber, 28 g protein, 3 g saturated fat, 3 mg iron, 464 mg sodium

10.06.2009

Mexican Stuffed Shells

18 large shells (cooked & drained)
1 lb. hamburger
18 oz. picante sauce
2 cans tomato sauce
cheese

Brown your hamburger with onion and drain. In separate bowl mix picante sauce and tomato sauce. Add 3/4 cup of the sauce to your hamburger and also 3/4 cup cheese. Pour half of remaining mixture into 9x13 pan. Stuff the shells with hamburger mixture and place in pan. Once all shells are in pan, pour remaining sauce on top. Cook covered for 30 minutes on 350. Cover with cheese and bake for 5 more minutes uncovered.

10.03.2009

Sausage & Egg Casserole



(Picture courtesy of Google Images)

This is a super easy casserole. You can make it for breakfast, for dinner and even for potlucks. I mainly use it when we have brunches for baby showers. Hope you guys like it.

6 Slices of white bread, cubed
1 pound of sausage, crumbled, browned and drained (I found the sausage in the frozen isle of IGA)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 eggs, beaten
2 cups of milk
1 teaspoon of salt
Pepper to taste

Take the cubed bread and place evenly in a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle sausage and cheese evenly over cubed bread. In a mixing bowl mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 325 F for 45 mins.

You can also add some green chiles, mushrooms and onion to this recipe. Just play with it and see what works best for you.

9.27.2009

Nicky Cookies

Here is a Harker family favorite I invented for some really sweet, rich, and chewy chocolate chip cookies. The recipe needs to be modified a little bit when you are in Grenada so make sure you look at the notes below. I hope they turn out great!

Melt 2 sticks of butter (unsalted on low heat)

Keep dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls.

DRY
2 1/4 bread flour (or all purpose flour)
teaspoon of kosher salt (or regular salt)
teaspoon of baking soda
1 large packet of instant vanilla jello pudding
If you have a sifter for these ingredients use it.

WET
melted butter, 1/4 cup of white sugar and 1 1/4 cups of brown sugar
then add 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk, 2 tbs of milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla. Once all of this is mixed it should be a brown caramel like consistency. This is what makes the cookie chewy!

Stir in dry ingredients to wet ingredients a little bit at a time. When completely mixed add 2-3 cups of Gittard milk chocolate chips. (Target usually has Gittard in a silver bag) Chill dough, scoop, roll into a ball and bake. Each ball should be about 1.5 inches in diameter.

Bake at 375 F for 13-15 mins. DO NOT OVERCOOK!!! The secret to making these cookies good is to not over do it. If your cookies are starting to brown on top you are cooking them too long. A good way to check if the cookies are done or not is you should start to see cracks forming in the dough on top. This is a good time to take them out as they will continue to cook a little bit even when they are out of the oven. Let them cool about a minute on the cookie sheet then move them to a cooling rack. Don't let them sit on the cookie sheet too long.

In Grenada use 1 cup brown sugar since it seems especially dark here. You may even need to add a little more flour than the recipe calls for. Just try and get the dough to a nice cookie dough type consistency. Cook at 360 for 12 mins. Your oven may vary so pay attention to how the cookie comes out. If it is hard or brown on the outside but gooey inside your oven is too hot. Try lowering the temperature by 10 degrees for the next batch. 360 seems to be the perfect temp for me even in America. 1 large Cadbury's dairy milk can be cut up to use for chocolate chips since we can't get Gittard here. If you have questions feel free to ask :)

9.20.2009

Lion House Chicken

(From the Lion House Restaurant in SLC)
This makes a TON, I recommend halving it!

10-12 8 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 c ground bread crumbs
4 c favorite stuffing mix
1 c mushrooms sliced
1 c butter, melted
1/2 c honey
2 c mayo
1/3 c Dijon mustard

Lay whole chicken breast flat on baking sheet. Coat with bread crumbs, prepare your favorite stuffing with mushrooms and butter. Portion stuffing mixture into 10- 12 equal parts. Put stuffing on one half of each chicken breast; fold over and secure with toothpicks. Bake 370 for 30 min. Makes 10- 12 servings

To make sauce, mix honey, mayo, and mustard together in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat warmed through. Top each cooked chicken breast with sauce before serving.

Cabbage and Noodle Salad

1- 3oz pkg oriental noodles with chicken flavor
1/4 c cooking oil
3 T Rice vinegar or wine vinegar
1 T sugar
2 c finely shredded cabbage
1.6 3/4 can chunk chicken or fresh
1/4 c sliced green onions
3 T sesame seed
3 T sliced almonds, toasted

Break up noodles-combine oil, vinegar, sugar 1/4 t salt, dash pepper and the seasoning packet. Stir in broken noodles, cabbage, chicken, onion, and sesame seeds. Cover. Chill several hours. Before serving, stir in almonds.

Chicken Ashley

*just named after the giver of the recipe.

pour bottle of BBQ sauce over chicken breasts and cook until done. Then sprinkle bacon and cheese and melt.

Serve with fresh tomatoes and green onions.

*I just use the precooked bacon to keep things simple

Salsa Chicken

put a good amount of salsa over chicken breasts and bake for about 25 min.

When chicken is done put sliced cheese (I like cheddar, but doesn't matter) over and put back to oven until melted. Serve with sour cream.

Chocolate Carmel Bars

mix together:
1 pkg devils food cake mix
1/3 c soft margarine
1/2 c quick oats
1 egg

Reserve 1 cup of mixture and pat rest into greased, floured 9x13 pan. Bake 8-10 min at 350. Remove from oven and top with:
1- 6 oz pkgy chocolate chips
1 jar carmel toppings mixed with 3 T flour

Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts to reserved mixture; sprinkle over top; bake another 10 min at 350 or until set in center.

*Delicious and Rich, everything you want in chocolate.

9.18.2009

Tuscan Bread Salad

1 Loaf dense crusty Italian bread. (french bread or an artisan bread etc.)
1 Large ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
1 Large tomatoe
1 Yellow or red bell pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Dressing:
1 clove garlic
6 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs balsalmic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Combine dressing ingredients and blend well; set aside. Cut cheese, tomatoe and pepper into 1 inch cubes and transfer to a salad bowl with chopped basil. Pour dressing over cheese and veggies to marinate while cutting and toasting the bread. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes and toast in oven until lightly brown. Add bread cubes to salad bowl and bix well to coat all pieces. Serve immediately.

This is SO good. If you Bruchetta you will love this salad. I leave out the peppers when I make this and it tastes just as good.
Enjoy!

9.13.2009

Sweet Italy.

I call this my "Sweet Italy." I ate it about a week ago and ever since then whenever I think about it, I want it. It is so fresh, simple, organic and delicious. It tastes soooo good to me! If you decide you want to try it, all you need is:

1- Big, juicy, red tomato
1- Block of FRESH, "Whole Milk Mozzarella Cheese" (I get the "Polly-o" kind here in Grenada) 1- Fresh Basil leaf (we picked this little guy from our garden)
- A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste

And Viola! A delicate, masterpiece ready to be savored slowly.

9.10.2009

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies


Hi all! Thanks for letting me contribute to this blog!

I found this delicious recipe online. I love it because it’s a great way to use overly ripe bananas and neither the peanut butter nor banana flavors are overpowering – it’s a perfect balance. They also stay soft for days! I sometimes double the recipe to make more because everyone who has tried them LOVES them...they always ask for more. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup mashed banana (1 sm/med)
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant)

Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (foil works too).
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together sugars and butter. Beat in egg until smooth, then mix in the peanut butter and mashed banana. Working by hand or with a mixer on low speed, blend dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture. Stir in the oats.

Shape dough into tablespoons and place on baking sheet, flattening each slightly with your fingers or a spoon.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies just begin to turn golden around the edges.

Makes approx 20 cookies

Magic Cookie Bars!

(picture courtesy of google images)

Sorry this took me so long to post ladies! Enjoy!!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter of margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 oz.) can EAGLE Brand sweetened condensed milk (or whatever is available!)
2 Cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees ( 325 degrees for glass dish). Coat 13x9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with a fork.
3. Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store covered at room temperature.

ENJOY! And don't feel bad if you eat more than 5 in a sitting...i do it all the time :)

9.09.2009

Fresh Peach Pie

  1. 1 baked graham cracker crust
  2. Slice fresh peaches inside crust
  3. Pour 1 can sweetened condensed milk mixed with 1/3 c lemon juice
When ready to serve, top with whipped cream.

~ my great-grandma Tanner's recipe

Fried Rice by Grant

This is my 20 year old brother's recipe for fried rice. I had to share it with you because I laugh every time I read it. It's honestly a great way to deal with random leftovers. In his words...

Rice
Soy Sauce
Oil
Eggs
Meat (chicken or cow tastes the best, but if you want to use fish or pig you can)
Vegetables (peas, corn, green onions, water chestnuts (are these vegetables?), onions)

Acquire some cooked rice, I won't ask how you get it, just get some. Cook the eggs, meat, and veggies how you would regularly cook them (AKA cook them separately). Add rice, eggs, meat, veggies, oil, ad soy sauce together. Cook until everything is hot. You can add pretty much whatever you want to this, just add what you think will taste good and what is available. Also I didn't put in proportions because it really depends on how much you want. If you like eggs, put in a lot of eggs. You're a smart person, you'll do fine.

9.07.2009

Chocolate Pudding & Oreos Popsicles

I got this recipe from the Kraft website. Hope you guys like it.

1 package (3.9oz) of instant chocolate pudding
2 cups of milk
6 oreo cookies
1/2 cup of thawed cool whip.


-Prepare the chocolate pudding as directed on the package. You need the 2 cups of milk to prepare the pudding.
-Place the oreo cookies in a ziploc bag and crush cookies with a rolling pin.
-Add crushed oreos and cool whip to pudding mixture. Mix until well blended.
-If you don't have popsicle molds then you can use small 3oz paper cups to place the pudding mixture. Insert a wooden stick or plastic spoon into each cup and to hold the popsicles.
-Freeze popsicles for 5 hours or until firm.
- Once the popsicles have frozen; in order to remove the cup from the popsicle place the popsicle cup in warm water for 15 secs. After the 15 sec press firmly on the bottom of the cup to remove cup.

*As an alternative you can always substitute the chocolate pudding for vanilla pudding.

8.28.2009

Oatmeal Cake: don't let the title fool you.

This is super duper delicious.

1 cup oatmeal
1 1/4 c boiling water
1/2 c butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 nutmeg

Heat oven to 350.
Put oatmeal in a medium bowl. Pout boiling water over oatmeal and cover. Let stand 10 minutes. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together. Add vanilla, eggs, softened oatmeal, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix. Pour batter into a sprayed or greased and floured 9 inch square pan.
Bake 50-55 minutes.

Frosting
1/4 c butter, melted
1/2 c brown sugar
3 tbsp half and half or evaporated milk
1/3 chopped nuts
3/4 c coconut

In a medium bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, and half-and-half. Stir in nuts and coconut. Frost warm cake. Place cake under broiler and brown until bubbly, watching carefully so that it does not burn.

** My sister makes some very yummy modifications. She pours the cake mixture into a 9x13 pan and cuts the baking time in half until it's just barely done. Then she doubles the frosting. I tasted her product and it was heaven.**

Cashew Chicken

Saute:

2 T butter
1/2 c chopped onion
1 c chopped celery

Add:

2 T soy sauce
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
4 c chicken or turkey, diced

Bake in 9x13 pan at 350 for about 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Top with 1 can of Chinese noodles (chow mein noodles) and 1/2 cup of cashews for the last 5-10 minutes. Serve over rice.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins


1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
3/4 cup milk
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 to 2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 Tbs. or more butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups or fill with papers. Spoon flour into measuring cups and level with a knife. Put measured flour in a mixing bowl and stir in 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat egg in a separate bowl with oil and milk. Add flour mixture to egg mixture until just moistened. Fold blueberries and lemon rind gently into batter. Fill prepared muffin cups two thirds full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until muffins are done. While still warm invert muffins and dip tops into melted butter and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Makes 12 muffins.

Mexican Fiesta Biscuit Bake

(Similar to Brittany's Oven-Fried Chimichangas)

1 (1 lb, 1.3 oz) can Pillsbury Grand Biscuits, cut into quarters
1 (16 oz) jar thick and chunky salsa
12 oz Monterey Jack cheese, grated
½ cup chopped green pepper
½ cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 to 2 cloves minced garlic
4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
Sour cream for topping

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place quartered biscuits in a large bowl. Add salsa, cheese, green peppers, onion, cilantro, garlic, and chicken. Mix. Place mixture in a greased 9x13 pan. Bake, uncovered, 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
Serves 5 to 6.

Mint Brownies

1 cup melted margarine (I always use butter, it works great)

2 ½ squares unsweetened chocolate (melt it in the butter)

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

½ tsp. Peppermint Extract (not mint, peppermint)

1 ½ cup flour

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

Mix together wet ingredients, then add dry ingredients until mixed well. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes (cool completely)

Frosting

6 T of margarine

4 T of evaporated milk

2 cups powdered sugar

½ tsp peppermint extract

Green food coloring

Mix together well and spread on cooled brownie. Put in freezer for about an hour to allow it to set.

Chocolate top layer

1 cup or more chocolate chips and 4 T butter. Melt together and spread over mint frosting, refrigerate to set. (sometimes 1 cup is enough and sometimes I have to make a bit more to cover, it just depends on how your brownie bakes up.)

Breakfast casserole

I cooked this casserole today and it turned out great. It fed seven people with a little left over so it's perfect for a crowd and was easy to whip up.


INGREDIENTS
1 pound pork sausage
1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent roll dough
10 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)
Dash of salt and pepepr

DIRECTIONS
Brown sausage and bell pepper.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Line the bottom of the prepared baking dish with crescent roll dough, and sprinkle with crumbled sausage and peppers. In a large bowl, mix beaten eggs, mozzarella, and Cheddar. Season the mixture with oregano, and pour over the sausage and crescent rolls.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Note: After 30 minutes of baking there was liquid on the top of the casserole still so I baked a little longer, almost 40 minutes. Even after 40 minutes there was still some liquid but layer of dough on the bottom was brown so I took it out. A knife came out clean and after sitting a few minutes the liquid dried off. So, I should have taken it out sooner just as the recipe said. Don't be fooled by a little liquid on top.

8.26.2009

Spinach & Cheese Quiche


This quiche is super easy to make. I usually make it for dinner when I have nothing else to make. We usually eat it with a side of cantaloupe or kiwi. When we have left overs we eat them the next moring for breakfast. Bon app├ętit!

1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust (I used the frozen pie crust from IGA)
1/3 cup of chopped onions
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (You can use any type of cheese)
4 Large Eggs
2 cups whipping cream or half-and-half (I only used a 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream)
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of pepper
1/8 tsp ground red cayenne pepper

You can always substitute the spinach for mushrooms, broccoli or asparagus. Also, you can put bacon, chicken and any type of cheese. Spread cheese over the bottom of the unbaked pie crust. Set aside a bit of the cheese for later use. Then spread onions and spinach on top of the cheese. In a medium mixing bowl combine eggs, whipping cream or half and half, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Pour cream mixture over veggies and cheese. Sprinkle cheese on top of the mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 mins.

8.25.2009

Hot Hoagies

1 loaf french bread, cut lengthwise

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (in a pinch, you can use two large cans chicken breast)

1/2 cup light mayo

1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried)

2 cups shredded cheese (I used a combo of monterey jack and sharp cheddar cheese)

Olives, chopped (0ptional - I omit these due to my kids' preferences)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place french bread on large baking sheet. Mix all topping ingredients together in a bowl. Spread topping evenly on top of both lengths of french bread. Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and edges are lightly browned. Slice into pieces and serve immediately

When I made this I doubled the recipe and we didn't have french bread so we used hamburger buns and they worked great, plus we didn't have to try to cut them. You could add other favorites too. I think it would be good with artichoke hearts, or even some bacon chuncks.

This meal was really good and really fast!

Chicken Tortilla Soup


This is such a favorite in our house - I could probably eat it every day!

especially yummy when you have all the fixings for it :)


2 T. olive oil

2-3 cooked chicken breast, shredded

1 onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

32 oz. chicken broth (or French onion soup mix with appropriate amount of water– actually, I like to do half broth and half soup mix…gives it yummy flavor!)

14 oz. Mexican style tomatoes

4 oz. green chilies

1+ tsp. cumin (add more if you like it spicy)

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. sugar

1 TB. Lime juice (or the juice of one lg. lime)


toppings:

Diced avocado

Sour Cream

Freshly cut cilantro

4 oz. shredded monterery jack or cheddar cheese

1 cup tortilla chips crushed a bit (to go inside soup while cooking, but you’ll want more to put on top of soup when serving)


In a 6 quart pot combine onion, garlic, and olive oil. Sautee for 5 minutes. Add chicken and broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Add crushed tortilla chips. Stir well, cover and simmer 30 minutes. If liquid cooks down too much add water. When ready to serve, put some cheese, cilantro, sour cream, avocado, and a handful of broken chips in bowl.

{I haven't ever tried it but I'm guessing this could be made in a crockpot!}

8.23.2009

Spinich Turnovers


2 lb. frozen spinach
1 small onion, chopped
1 egg
1 cup cottage cheese, drained
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 can of Pillsbury cresent rolls (2 rolls per turnover, rolled into rectangle shape)

Chop onion and saute, along with spinach. Cook until limp. Set aside to cool. Beat an egg and mix it with the cottage and feta cheeses. Add cooled spinach mixture. This is the filling. Roll out two rolls pinched together and put a blob of filling on the dough and fold it like a turnover. Pinch the edges closed. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet and cook according to cresent rolls pkg.

homemade Oreo's

These are a favorite around our house and super easy!

CoOkIeS:
1 box of devil's food cake
2 eggs
1/2 C. vegetable oil

Mix together ingredients and use tsp. to place tiny blob on greased cookie sheet. Flatten blob with palm or bottom of cup. Bake @ 350 for about 8 minutes. Cookie will look doughy but let it cool. If cooked for too long they are crunchy.

FrOsTiNg:
8 oz. cream cheese
2 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
{note: I sometimes half this recipe since it makes a lot - but who doesn't like extra frosting lying around?!}

Beat ingredients together and spread generous amounts of frosting, sandwiched between two cooled cookies!

Bet you can't eat just one :)

8.20.2009

Pilgrim's Pie

I made a few modifications to an online recipe to find yet ANOTHER use for our vat of instant potatoes. Pilgrims ate turkey, right? Apologies for the half-eaten photo, I just wasn't fast enough! BTW, my 9-month-old loved picking this up and eating it.

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 small butternut squash, diced
  • 1.5 tablespoons tomato paste (AKA ketchup)
  • 1.5 cup chicken stock, divided
  • 1.5 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1.5 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1.5 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 4 servings of your favorite instant potatoes (may involve butter and milk)
Instructions

Chop all those pesky veggies and set them aside for later. Shred your cheese. Don't worry, this is the most time-consuming part.
Place a large skillet over high heat and with 3 turns of the pan, cooking oil, about 3 tablespoons. Once the oil starts to ripple, add the ground turkey and break it up into small pieces as it cooks, using the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher. Cook until the turkey is nice and brown, about 8-10 minutes.
While the meat is cooking, prepare your mashed potatoes. Make them just a little more watery than the instructions say.
Add the veggies to the meat and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chicken stock, spices (be sure to rub them to release flavor before you add them), salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 10 more minutes, stirring every now and then.
Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
While the veggies are cooking, stir about half of the cheese into the mashed potatoes until it's all melted.
Once the veggies and meat are finished, use them to cover the bottom of a large, oven-safe baking dish. Spread the cheesy potatoes to cover the turkey mixture evenly.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the potatoes.
Place in the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Not your mothers Meatloaf!

This is the yummiest, most delecious meatloaf ever, and yes, it is not your mothers meatloaf, because you use the secret ingredient (SUGAR!!) Yes, its true! It is a yummy one to make, and it is a great one to make two loafs, eat one and freeze the other! Here it is!

1-2 lbs ground turkey or beef
1 c. oats (either kind will work)
1 t. salt
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 egg
1 c. ketchup or tomato sauce, even soup (I use Ketchup)

Mix everything except the meat first, then add the meat and mix well. Put into a well greased pan, and TOP with tangy sauce (1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 t. mustard mixed well). Bake at 175 C (350 degrees) for about 1 hour.

Enjoy!

8.14.2009

Smoothie

What to do with all those over-ripe bananas? No time to make banana bread? I use them in this quick and easy smoothie "recipe."

One or two ripe bananas
One flavored low-fat individual yogurt (I like strawberry)
About a cup of frozen fruit (I like blueberries because they are easy on the blender)

Throw it all in the blender for a few seconds and you have yourself a frosty, fruity treat.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's a recipe I stumbled across trying to use up wheat flour someone gave me. A little healthier than the buttery Toll House recipe. I thought they turned out delicous. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of the dark chocolate the recipe calls for.
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (such as Ghirardelli chocolate chips or Hershey's special dark chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture until well combined. Stir in oats, then chocolate chips. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes.
Makes 30 cookies.

Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies

These are the brownies that we made for Lou's birthday cake. I am not a huge fan of chocolate but these brownies were really good.

Brownies

1 cup of unsalted butter
3 ounces of the best quality semi-sweet chocolate (I used IGA semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese, softened (Yes, I was able to find mascarpone cheese at IGA)
3 large eggs, at room-temperature
2 tsp of pure vanilla extract ( I used imitation vanilla)
1/2 cup of flour
a/4 tsp of salt

Ganache Topping

6 ounces of the best quality semi-sweet chocolate (For this part I used IGA chocolate chips)
6 tbsp of whipping cream
3 tsp of unsalted butter

Directions

1. Preheat oven at 325 F. Have a 8-inch square cake pan already buttered.
2. First, start by making brownie part. Take a small saucepan and melt the butter. Take the chocolate chips place them into a mixing bowl. Then pour the hot butter over the chocolate chips. Let stand for 30 seconds and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
3. Sift in the sugar and the cocoa powder.
4. With a wooden soon, beat in the mascarpone, eggs and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
5. Slowly, fold the flour and the salt into the batter.
6. Pour the batter into the already buttered 8-inch pan. Make sure the batter is spread evenly across the pan.
7. Place pan into preheated oven and bake for 45-50 mins. Or until toothpick comes out clean.
8. Place pan on a cooling rack and let brownies cool for 15 mins. While the brownies are cooling start making the ganache.
9. Place chocolate chips into a mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and the butter just bellow the boiling point.
10. Pour the hot cream-butter mixture over the chocolate chips and let it stand for 30 secs. Then stir mixture until smooth and spread over the brownies. Make sure the ganache is warm when you spread over the brownies.
11. Don't cut into the brownies until the ganache has firmed up.

8.02.2009

Easy Chicken Bake!

(photo courtsey of www.culinary.net)

I got this off the Stove Top Stuffing box and it was actually pretty good!

Ingredients:
- 1 pkg. Stove Top Stuffing Mix (Chicken flavor)
- 1-1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup
- 1/3 cup Sour Cream
- 1 16 oz. bag of frozen mixed vegetables, thawed & drained.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare stuffing mix as directed on package; set aside. Mix raw chicken, soup, sour cream & vegetables in 13x9 inch baking dish; top with prepared stuffing. I also sprinkled it with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 min or until chicken is cooked through!

Makes 6 servings.

7.30.2009

Delicious Lasagna!


This is my staple for making Lasagna. It always seems to turn out really good and makes for great left overs! (This really isn't that hard to make either. )

Ingredients:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 onion
- 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1 box lasagna noodles (there are usually about 18 pieces in a box, & I use about 8-9 pieces)
- 2 c Cheddar cheese (I have used the mixed cheese in a bag before and it's fine)
- 2 c. Mozzarella cheese (again, I have used the bagged cheese here)
- 12 oz. cottage cheese

Start boiling a large pot of water (for noodles later). Cook beef with garlic in a large skillet. Drain. Add the onion and cook. Add tomato sauce and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper and oregano. Cool for a minute. By now your noodles should be cooking in the pot of boiling water. When noodles are done, lay out on paper towels to cool. Then, layer in a 9x13 inch pan starting with the sauce, noodles, cheddar, mozzarella and cottage cheese. Repeat once more, which should take up all your ingredients. Bake at 350 until bubbly in center (about 30-45 min). My oven cooks it in 40 min, but I know it could be different for everyone's ovens. Eat your hearts out.

Chicken Pillows

I just served these to the missionaries and they seemed to think they were a big hit, so I thought I would post them on here. Plus, this is super easy, which is what I am always shooting for when it comes to dinner!

Ingredients:
- 4oz. cream cheese
- 1/4 c. butter
- 3/4 c. fresh mushrooms (Can also use the "Green Giant" canned ones, that are sliced)
- 1 1/2 c. boiled chicken
- Parsley
- Dried Bread crumbs
- Pillsbury crescent rolls (8 rolls to a can)

In a medium bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth; add mushrooms, boiled chicken, salt, pepper, and parsley. Put about 3 tablespoons of mixture in the center of crescent roll; form into pillow (or fold over and press all around the sides, so they stick together as best as you can. The mixture usually spills out a little & that's ok.) Sprinkle bread crumbs over the tops of each pillow. Bake at 375 for 12-15 min. Watch them and make sure they don't burn! They should brown nicely. Eat up, buttercup!
(it may not seem like it, but these little guys are pretty filling!)

I have also doubled this recipe, by just using two cans of the Pillsbury rolls without doubling the amount of mixture and had a little left over.

White Bread

1 c warm water
1 T yeast
1 T sugar

Dissolve until foamy (about 10 minutes)

Then add:
1 c warm water
3 T sugar
2 tsp salt
2 T oil
3 1/2 - 4 Cups flour

Knead with hands until elastic consistency let rise 1hr .
Punch down with hands,let rise until doubled about 30 minutes

You can use a bread pan that is greased with Crisco and cover with flour, or just shape and put on a prepared cookie sheet. Preheat oven and bake at 350 for around 30 minutes. The top should be a nice golden brown. Depending on the pain if the bottom is a little more done than the top turn oven down to 300 for the first 20 minutes and 350 for the last 10.

Tips for better bread:
No ac have house warm while it raises. The less you handle it the better the end texture will be. After you bake it, take out of pan and cool. Let sit for 30-40 minutes... letting bread sit and cool will help it be more moist, and finish baking. If you want a shinny finish spread a little butter on top while bread is hot.

Makes one loaf
Time:2 h 10 minutes

Hot Pastrami Sandwiches!

So, the other day I was craving a hot pastrami sandwich. I really wanted it to be like one you would buy at "The Italian Place" and found a pretty close recipe that is really easy and so good!

Ingredients:
- 1 onion, chopped up (optional)
- 1 lb Beef Pastrami (which they have at IGA right now)
- Deli Rolls (they sell some good ones at IGA)
- 4-8 slices of Swiss cheese
- Mustard
- Mayo
- Butter
- Water (just a little)
- Dill Pickle (optional)

Thinly slice or chop the onions into small pieces and cook in a small amount of butter over medium heat until they are nicely browned. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Cut the roll in half & spread the butter evenly over the inside of the deli rolls.

In another skillet, heat the pastrami with a little bit of water until it is steaming hot. Place one of the deli rolls, buttered side down in the skillet you used to cook the onions. Lightly toast the inside of the rolls and if you want, flip to the other side and toast a little. Remove from the pan and put mayo and mustard & top with the chopped onions, on the roll. Then, add the hot pastrami and Swiss cheese! Presto! You are done! Enjoy and imagine you are at "The Italian Place!"
(Serve with a sliced dill pickle and your favorite deli style salad.)

7.28.2009

Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

I am a bit lazy today so I am just going to post the link to the recipe. I made these Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast this morning and they were amazing. They are a bit of work but oh they are worth it! Enjoy!

7.13.2009

Silky Potato Leek Soup

2.5 oz of butter (1/2 cup)
1 lb. Leeks chopped about 3 (you can use broccoli as another option)
6 cups of chicken stock
24 oz Potatoes diced or about 6 small
3/4 cup of cream or half & half
salt pepper

Melt the butter in a large pot over med heat, add the leeks and cook to soften but not brown. add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. turn the heat to med. high and add the potatoes and cook for about 20 min. or until the potatoes are soft. add the cream and take off the heat. Puree the soup with an immersible blender until the desired consistency.

It is yummy! Don't worry if you don't have exactly the amount - it always tastes good.

6.25.2009

Spinach Meatloaf

Get your picky eater to eat his vegetables by hiding them in meat! Another exciting use for instant potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground meat (I prefer turkey)
  • 1/4 cup instant potatoes
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cup parmesean cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 onion chopped fine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • flavoring (choose an option, both are tasty!)
  • option A: 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce & 1 teaspoon cumin
  • option B: 1 teaspoon each of sage, rosemary, thyme
  • 5oz frozen spinach, thawed and chopped
Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F or 175C. Thaw out your spinach by putting it in a colander and running water over it.
  2. Mix first nine (9) ingredients and choose the kind of flavoring you'd prefer. Worcestershire goes better with beef, while herbs go better with ground chicken or turkey. Both flavors are tasty and merit trying.
  3. Lay out a piece of aluminum foil, wax paper or other disposable flexible surface. Spread the meat mix over the foil to make a 1/2 inch-thick rectangle that should fit into your baking pan.
  4. On top of the meat, make a uniform layer of spinach. Ideally, leave a 1/2 inch border of meat not covered by spinach.
  5. Use your flexible surface to lift one side of the meat and gently form a roll. You'll likely have to work slowly and peel the meat off the foil a bit as you go. When you get to the end, press the end meat into the roll so in blends into a solid roll. You can also smoosh together the ends a bit to obscure the spinach there. The spinach should now be nicely hidden, visible only in cross-section.
  6. If you're really careful with aluminum foil, you can now enclose your lovely meat roll in the same piece of foil, then place in your baking pan. This helps minimize cleanup. Definitely still use a pan, though, to keep the meat juices from oozing out into your oven.
  7. Bake the meatloaf in the middle rack for 45 minutes or so (took me about twice that here, but I have no idea how hot my oven is with the goofy tank). This should serve 4-5 people and freezes easily either before or after baking.

6.07.2009

Instant Potato Crusted Fish/Chicken

I know you've been on pins and needles waiting for another way to utilize those instant potatoes. Who needs breadcrumbs!!
  • 1 lb white fish filet or chicken
  • 1/2 cup instant potatoes
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesean/romano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • optional: 1 egg or a few tbsp mayonnaise
  • plastic baggie or shallow bowl
  1. Preheat oven to 400F (205C).
  2. Grease a glass baking dish or use a non-stick baking dish.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together in the baggie or shallow bowl.
  4. Wet your fish or chicken. You can use a gluing agent such as a beaten egg or mayonnaise to help the batter stick to the meat. Then put one piece at a time into the crust mix and coat thoroughly.
  5. Put the meat into your baking dish.
  6. Bake the fish or chicken until it is cooked thoroughly (20 min for boneless chicken, 40min for bone-in chicken, 30-40 min for thick fish filet)
If you're more of a skillet person than baker, just put a little cooking oil in the skillet and go to town. Heats up the house a little less and your food is finished faster. There's also the grilling option.

5.31.2009

Turkey Burgers -- with Instant Potatoes

Yet another use for instant potatoes: a way to stretch hamburger meat a bit further. My picky eater prefers anything with onions and garlic, so you can adjust those ingredients down to your preference. He often doesn't notice that it's turkey burgers, though, because the flavor is sufficiently good. I usually eyeball quantities, but paid close attention today to give a good estimate of quantities. Fresh herbs are always preferable (this group comes in a pack together called "poultry herbs" back home), but dried works nicely too (just rub the dried leaves a bit before tossing them in to release their flavors).

1 lb ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 onion diced fine
3 cloves garlic minced/diced fine
1/2 cup instant potatoes
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp dried rosemary (3 sprigs fresh chopped fine)
1 tbsp dried sage (2 sprigs fresh chopped fine)
1 tbsp dried thyme (1 handful fresh leaves pulled off stalks)
black pepper/salt to taste

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients really well.
  2. Separate the meat into burgers. You should be able to get five (5) respectable sized burgers out of this mixture.
  3. I usually store individual burgers in resealable bags in the freezer to offer meal flexibility, however in Grenada the freezer is so humid that the bags quickly freeze to the walls and are difficult to remove. So here I put them in leftover containers, with burgers separated by foil or plastic wrap.

5.28.2009

Instant Potatoes Transformed

As we get close to break, we're trying to empty our cupboards so the ants don't have a field day in our absence. Number one thing to eliminate: the GIANT tub of instant potatoes. After the second week of having mashed potatoes with every meal, Dan requested that I get a bit more creative. So this is perhaps the first in a series of "what to do with instant potatoes when you can't stand potatoes anymore."

Salmon Croquettes
  • 15 oz can salmon
  • 1 cup instant potatoes (or breadcrumbs)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tablespoons dried parsley (I use cilantro/coriander)
  • 1 medium size onion finely chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Open your can of salmon, probably out of sight of any picky eaters in your household. You'll need to pick bones out. Most would prefer to drain and rinse the fish. I saw my omega 3 fatty acids floating on top and decided to keep it. Place salmon in a medium bowl.
  2. Mix all ingredients together. I added milk because the original recipe was pretty dry and the patties fell apart upon cooking. Add just enough milk to make the patties not crumbly. You can make 4-5 cakes from a can of salmon.
  3. Fry the patties in small amt. of 100% pure virgin olive oil, or a good corn oil, till golden on one side, then flip over & brown on second side. Drain on paper towels.

5.10.2009

Funeral Potatoes

Hello everyone! This is my first entry, I am thrilled to finally have something worth sharing. I made sure it passed the test of having a group of people eat it without barfing. haha

12 larger potatoes or a 32 oz bag of frozen hash browns
2 Cups Sour Cream
2 Cans Cream of Chicken (I used Cream of Chicken with Herbs, gave t a nice flavor)
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
1/3 Cup Chopped Onions (I sauteed them with a little bit of butter until they were transparent)
1 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese

Topping:
2 Cups Crushed Corn Flakes (I put a bit more)
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter

   Peel Potatoes, boil them whole until just barely tender(or add hash browns). Let cool. In a bowl combine sour cream, cream of chicken, melted butter, onions, and cheese. Mix well. Grate potatoes in bowl and fold in until everything is mixed evenly. Put mixture in a 9x13 baking dish. Combine corn flakes and melted butter (I crush corn flakes in a ziploc bag and then I pour the melted butter in with them and shake). Put topping over potatoes. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

*Perfect for large groups. Enjoy!!!