Monday, December 24, 2012

Asian Flair

Sonia here.  This was a good dish, but not quite as "barbecuey" as I thought it would be.  We enjoyed it and I think we will have it again.

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Salt and pepper
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
1/2 tablespoon (or more) sesame seeds
3 scallions, chopped

Lightly season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, put into crock pot.

In a medium bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened.

Cut or shred chicken into bite size pieces. Then in individual bowls, place chicken pieces over cooked rice and spoon some sauce on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.

serves 4

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

An Old Favorite

Sonia here.  This soup is an old favorite of our family.  I have made it for years and my mom made it before then.  It is good, warm, comfort food for me.  I have no clue where my mom got the recipe, but I got it from her and just tweaked it a bit for my taste.

Clam Chowder

1 cup chopped onions (I use dried minced onions)
1 cup diced celery
2 cups diced potatoes
2 small cans clams, do not drain
3 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
3/4 cup margarine
3/4 cup flour
1 quart half & half
salt and pepper to taste

Put in onions, celery, potatoes, bouillon, clams, and clam juice. Add just enough water to come to top of vegetables but not cover them. Cover, cook till tender and most of the water is gone, but before they start to stick to bottom of pan. Meanwhile, in saucepan melt margarine/butter and add flour to make a roue. Add half and half, salt and pepper and stir till completely mixed and smooth. Then add sauce and clams to veggies and simmer till desired thickness. I like mine pretty thick.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Isn't it great when...

Sonia here. Sorry for the long break.  After vacation and being sick, I think I am finally getting back to normal.  Anyway, have you ever made something that didn't look anything like the picture of the recipe?  I have many times, but isn't it great when something you make looks just like the picture.  It is so great!!  This is one of those times.

These blueberry muffins looked just like their pictures and tasted good.  I ended up using yogurt instead of buttermilk because I was out of buttermilk, but they still were good and turned out great.

Blueberry Buttermilk Doughnuts

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
1 cup buttermilk
3 large eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange zest

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and position an oven rack in the center. Lightly coat the doughnut pans with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Make the doughnuts. In a large bowl, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and orange zest with a whisk. Melt the butter in a small pot over low heat and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla with a whisk until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a large wooden spoon until completely combined. Gently fold in the blueberries until just combined. Do not overmix. Using a pastry bag fitted with a 1-inch round tip, divide the batter equally (using even pressure) between the pans, filling about halfway full. Alternatively, you can use a gallon-sized resealable plastic storage bag. Fill the bag and using scissors, remove 1 inch from one of the bottom corners and proceed with filling the pans as described above.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the doughnuts spring back when lightly touched. Remove from the oven, invert the doughnuts onto a rack, and allow to cool completely.
4. Make the glaze. In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, orange juice, and orange zest with a whisk, mixing until smooth.
5. Glaze the doughnuts. Dip the top of each doughnut into the glaze and lift, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl. Place the doughnuts on a platter and serve. These doughnuts are best served fresh.

makes 16 large or 64 mini doughnuts

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pause For Pregnancy

So the blog is going to be updated much less frequently.  I am pregnant, and when I'm pregnant, cooking just doesn't happen very often.  And when it does, the food is less than inspiring.  Anyway, I'll update from time to time, but it won't be very frequently.  Sorry, and after baby comes, I'll be back to posting frequently.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Rosemary and Sweet Potatoes

Sonia here.  This will be my last post at least for a week to 10 days.  We will be visiting family so I won't be cooking much.  Today's recipe we altered a bit (it was raining and we didn't feel like trying to grill in the rain), so we just did them in the oven after cooking them in the microwave for a little bit.  Other than that we did what it said to do.  They were good, but then we like sweet potatoes and rosemary.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary

2 large sweet potatoes or yams (about 2 pounds total), scrubbed and dried
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (leaves from about ? small bunch), plus more if desired

1. Preheat oven to 375 ° F.
2. Rub potatoes with 1/2 teaspoon of the oil.  Prick once or twice with a fork. Place in a roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 35 to 45 minutes until kitchen carving fork or skewer can just penetrate to the center. Potatoes should still be somewhat firm but neither hard not soft. When cool enough to handle, cut diagonally into oval slices about ½ inch thick. Do not peel. (May be prepared to this point 1 to 2 hours in advance and kept at room temperature.)
3. Prepare the grill with an oiled rack and preheat to high.
4. Spread out potato slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush on both sides with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Season exposed surface with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with half the rosemary. Place on the grill, rosemary side down. Grill 2 to 3 minutes, until nicely grill-marked, rotating 90° half way through. Season exposed surface with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with remaining rosemary. Turn and grill 2 to 3 minutes longer, rotating as before. Remove to a platter and sprinkle with a little extra rosemary, if desired. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Autumn in a Bowl Oatmeal

I thought this oatmeal was so yummy, but I was the only one.  The boys did not enjoy the fresh cranberries, but I thought they added such a burst of tart flavor, and that paired really well with the pumpkin oatmeal.  More for me I guess :)  I didn't use stevia, I used brown sugar, and I made a lot more than the recipe said.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Sonia here.  Sorry you get me two days in a row, but I missed Monday without even thinking, did Tuesday thinking it was Monday and then remembered today was Wednesday.  Crazy brain.  Anyway, today you get an unusual recipe.  I had this long ago and since I had a pumpkin to use, I decided I would try it.  It was good the first day, but it doesn't make for great leftovers.  The flavors start to all truly meld together and it just doesn't work well.  So don't use a huge pumpkin like I did and cut this way down in size.  (I halved the recipe since I only used a half pumpkin, but it was still too much.)  Also, ours took longer than 1 1/2 hours  - it took about 2 hours to cook.  I think we ended up using a sugar pumpkin, though instead of a normal pumpkin - don't know if that made the difference or not.

Dinner In A Pumpkin

One pumpkin
2 pounds ground meat
6 ounces sliced ham, chopped
1 medium onions, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 teaspoons of oregano
2 cups cooked brown or white rice
8 ounces can of tomato sauce
1 can chopped black olives
3 beaten eggs
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon vinegar

Combine all but eggs and vinegar. Cook until tender. Add eggs and vinegar. Mix well. Put into cleaned out 10" pumpkin and cook at 350 degrees for 1-1 1/2 hours until pumpkin is tender. Don't overcook or pumpkin will collapse. Scoop out pumpkin meat with filling as you are serving it. Feeds about 8 people. (depending on size of pumpkin - ours would have fed 6 easily and I only used half a pumpkin and half the recipe.)

*Note: Make sure that the pumpkin you buy will fit in your oven before starting this. Measure your oven from top to bottom, and when buying the pumpkin measure it also. Also put pumpkin on a cookie sheet with sides. Some fluid will run out of the pumpkin while cooking.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In the Mood for Chocolate?

Sonia here.  Are you ever in the mood for some chocolate cake and fast.  This is our go-to recipe.  It has the consistency of a pudding cake or steamed pudding, but for fast chocolate cake it is very good, especially hot with ice cream.  We even sometimes put coconut in or use coconut milk instead of the milk.  Very yummy and fast.

Coffee Mug Chocolate Cake

4 tablespoons flour (not self-rising)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
1 dash vanilla
Dash salt

1 coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to coffee mug and mix well.  Add the egg and mix well.  Add milk and oil and mix well.  Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts if desired.  Put the mug in the microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes.  The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed. Allow to cool a little and tip out onto a plate if desired.

serves 2

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp and Crab

We had some easy fettuccine alfredo tonight, with shrimp and crab legs.  Aaron was awesome and cracked all the crab legs for us, so we could just eat that up.  For the shrimp, I used a little olive oil, salt, and garlic powder, then just cooked them for about 2-3 minutes.  The boys loved these, they gave the shrimp perfect 10, but they didn't love the noodles as much.  I had to improvise on my alfredo sauce, since I didn't have enough cream to make it accurately, so I added some yogurt instead.  It definitely altered the texture and flavor of the sauce, so the boys gave the noodles a 7, from Owen, and a 0 from Noah.  The original recipe I took from Cook's Illustrated New Best Recipe Cookbook, and I like that it comes together so quickly.  This is my no recipe trying to remember modification.

1/2 lb pasta
1 2/3 c cream (or 1 c cream, 1/3 c milk, 1/3 c yogurt)
5 T butter
approximately 1 c parmesan cheese

Melt together 1 1/3 c cream and butter and cook until just barely simmering.  Set aside.  Cook pasta until just al dente, then add the pasta to the butter and cream mixture.  Add the remaining 1/3 c cream and parmesan and toss with the pasta.  Top with spices, nutmeg, whatever. 

Aaron and I gave this a 7, because the pasta didn't taste terrible, just the yogurt was too strong.  Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Steak and Butter Sauce

Sonia here.  These actually tasted really good.  It would have been better with a better cut of meat, but hey, we're cheap around here.  :)  I think the sauce needed more Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, but we just added those after.  We really enjoyed them.  We ate them with corn and sweet potatoes.  The sweet potato recipe will come next week.

London Broil With Butter Sauce

2 pounds flank steak (we used a cheaper cut of meat)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon coarse pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (we used about 1/2 tsp, but we think it needed more)
1/4 cup soft butter

Skin steak and score lightly. Rinse and dry quickly. Trim excess fat. Place steak in non-metallic container and rub it well all over with fresh lemon juice and then olive oil. Refrigerate 3 hours. Preheat broiler. Place cookie tin under flame until it is hot. Put steak on hot buttered tin 2 inches from flame. Broil 5 minutes; turn broil 3 minutes. Combine butter, pepper, salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Keep warm until steak is done. Spread sauce on steak. Carve on diagonal into thin slices.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Sonia here.  These scones were really good.  I cooked them just a couple of minutes too long and I cut them in triangles instead of circles, but we really liked these.  I think I will try different flavors using this recipe as well.

Blueberry & Coconut Scones with Lemon Zest

3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Zest of one lemon
3/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup chilled buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda into large bowl. Mix in lemon zest. Add butter and rub it with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix in frozen blueberries and shredded coconut.  Gradually add buttermilk, tossing with fork until moist clumps form.  Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead briefly to bind dough, about 4 turns. Form dough into 1-inch-thick round. Using a small biscuit cutter dipped into flour, make about 20 small round scones. Bake for about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chicken Tetrazzini

This is Bonnie, Vicki's mom.  This dish is a comfort food for me. When I was 15 or 16 we drove to Utah from Mesawith a group of youth from our ward. We drove all day and into the night. We stopped at a restaurant late, probably 8 pm and this is all the restaurant had for us to eat. I was so hungry that it tasted so good. I have always felt warm and fuzzy towards it since. I gave it a 10, Dennie a 9. He really liked it. He said the chicken was a little tough, but “that is the chicken’s problem, not yours.”
Chicken Tetrazzini
2 cups cooked chicken (about 10 oz.) ¼ cup flour
2 cups half and half ½ t salt
½ cup milk ¼ t garlic salt
1 small can mushrooms 1/8 t white pepper
2/3 cups grated Parmesan Cheese 2 chicken bouillon cubes
¼ cup butter 8 oz. spaghetti, cooked, blanched, and drained
In a 3 qt sauce pan, melt butter. Blend in flour, salt, garlic salt and pepper. Add half and half, milk, and bouillon cubes. Cook stirring constantly until think and smooth. Add 1/3 cup cheese, chicken and mushrooms. Stir in spaghetti. Pour into a greased 2 quart casserole dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake in oven for 375* for 20 to 25 minutes.
I do not bake this, preferring to just use it from the stove. That is the way the restaurant served it. We added green beans from our garden.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Roasted Chicken

Sonia here.  We tried this chicken a few Sundays ago and it tasted good, but we would have liked more seasoning.  The only complaint that we really had was that the recipe had you rub the whole chicken with herbed butter and put it into an oven at 475 degrees.  Butter smokes at that temperature.  Our house was filled with smoking butter for days every time we turned the oven on.  I think we will cover it to try to lessen that effect next time.  The chicken was nice and moist, though and we enjoyed the leftovers in chicken noodle soup as well as chicken salad sandwiches.

Lemon & Herb Roasted Chicken

1 whole Free-range Chicken
3 pinches Kosher Salt
3 pinches Black Pepper
1-1/2 whole Lemon, Divided
1/2 whole Garlic, Cut Horizontally
4 whole Fresh Thyme Sprigs
3 whole Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
6 whole Sage Leaves
2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley
Your Choice Of Vegetables, For Roasting
4 tablespoons Butter, Room Temperature
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
3 tablespoons Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
1 whole Lemon Zested
3 pinches Black Pepper

Place oven rack in the middle. Preheat oven to 475ºF.
Rinse bird under cold running water and then pat dry. Rub generously with salt and pepper on the outside. Take the half lemon, garlic head and thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley and stuff inside the chicken cavity.
For the rub, using a small bowl, blend the butter, garlic, rosemary and lemon zest together. Add in the black pepper and rub all over the outside of the bird. Separate the skin from the breast and rub some of the mixture underneath the skin.
Cross the legs over and bind with cooking twine.
Place your vegetables (your preference) in a roasting pan and place the bird on top. Roast for 30 minutes at the high temperature to get the skin nice and crispy.
Drop the temperature to 375ºF and roast for 60 more minutes (see note below), or until the juices run clear when pricked.
Remove from the oven and squeeze the remaining lemon over top and cover with aluminum foil to rest. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes and serve.
Note: If the skin starts to burn, cover with aluminum foil and continue cooking.

serves 4

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Vanilla Cake Batter Pancakes

We had Vanilla Cake Batter Pancakes tonight, and they were a hit.  The only problem we had with them is that they didn't stay together as well as normal pancakes, but they tasted great and were fast and easy to make.  We all enjoyed them, and had blackberries and whipped cream with them.  These are definitely worth trying!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pork Chop Potato Bake

Sonia here.  Sorry I'm late.  This recipe was good, but took a lot longer to cook than what was listed in the recipe. (Almost an hour longer.)  Don't know if it was because I used frozen hashbrowns or if the pork was thicker than what the recipe expected, or what, but man we were hungry when it finally was done. :)  We did enjoy it, though it could have used a little more seasoning.  We did like the french fried onions, though. I will probably make it again, just plan on having more time to cook it.

6 pork chops
Vegetable oil
Seasoned salt
1 can cream of chicken or cream of celery soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 package of hash browns
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup french-fried onions

Brown the pork chops in oil. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and set aside. Combine milk and sour cream, pepper and ½ tsp seasoned salt. Stir in hash browns, ½ cup cheese, and ½ can french-fried onions. Spoon mixture into 9x13 pan. Arrange pork chops over the potatoes (mom puts the potatoes over the pork chops) Bake covered with tin foil at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Top with the remaining cheese and onions. Bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.

I don't have any clue where it came from.  I got it from my sister, Andrea.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pork and Stuffing Casserole

I made this dinner tonight because it's easy and tasty.  The meat I use is usually chicken, but we had pork available so that's what I used.  I just used a box of stuffing mix, made according to directions, some spices, some cut up pork, and two cans of cream of mushroom soup.  Owen and Noah gave this a perfect 10, but I gave it a 7 and Aaron gave it a 6.  The pork just wasn't quite right, chicken would've been much better.  Cook in the oven for at least 30 minutes at 400 degrees, but we had to cook it for longer. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Orange Almond Muffins

Sonia here.  These muffins smelled divine, tasted okay, felt funny.  The texture was weird because of the chopped up almonds inside.  I think it would have been better if the almonds had been bigger so that you realized you were eating a nut and not have it chopped and mixed all throughout the whole muffin.  There were 234 calories per muffin.

Orange Almond Honey Muffins

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and honey until light. Beat in egg, orange juice concentrate and orange peel. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until just blended; stir in almonds. Spoon into 8 greased or paper-lined 2-1/2 -inch muffin cups. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

makes 8 muffins

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cube Steak with Easy Sauce

We had some cube steak with an easy sauce and rice tonight.  Aaron didn't like it, but the boys and I did.  I gave it an 8, Owen gave it a 9, Noah gave it a perfect 10, and Aaron gave it a 3.  It didn't have enough seasoning to it, and since I don't have a crockpot here, the meat wasn't tender like I hoped it would be, but it was easy and tasty.
1 lb cube steaks
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 c beef broth
1/2 onion
seasonings to taste

Cook it all together in a pot in the crockpot hopefully, or in the oven if not able to use a crockpot.  Serve with rice.

One of the fun things about this was we used local beef we bought at the farmers market.  It's fun to be able to buy local, clean meat from farmers here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

As Promised

Sonia here.  I don't have a separate picture here, but I promised last time that I would post our crust recipe that we liked so well.  We have begun using it for all of our crust recipes.  It makes 2 crusts.  It seems really involved and long, but it isn't.  It is quite easy and quick.

Flaky Pastry Crust

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, cold (not frozen), unsalted (reduce the salt added above if using salted butter)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice-cold water (plus a bit extra)

Assembly ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Cool water (enough to moisten the edge of the crust)
Milk (enough to moisten the top of the crust)
Granulated sugar (~2 teaspoons)

To make the crust:
1) Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and mix. I typically use a pastry blender to do this, though a fork or whisk also work.
2) Cut the butter into approximately tablespoon-sized pieces, and add to the flour mixture. Use a pastry blender, fork, knives, or your fingers to cut the butter into the flour, stopping when the largest chunks of butter are pea-sized and most of the butter is in very small pieces. Be careful not to melt the butter.
3) Add the ice water and cut the water into the dough with a spatula (or table knife) until the dough starts to hold together. If there is still a lot of dry dough in the bowl, add another tablespoon or two of extra water (I usually end up adding about an extra tablespoon).
4) Compress the dough together with your hands, divide it in half, and pat each half into a disk. If the dough is relatively warm and sticky, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for a short period (~15 minutes) until it is firmer, though I find the dough is usually cool enough to roll right away.
5) Use a floured rolling pin on a well-floured work surface to roll half the dough into a circle approximately 14 inches wide (or a few inches wider than your pan). Rolling the dough takes a bit of practice to do well, though I've found that even when I have apparently fatal flaws, they're rarely apparent in the final pie. If the dough develops holes or cracks, you can usually moisten (with water) another piece of dough, press it on top of the crack, dust it with flour, and then continue rolling the crust as normal. I'll slip a rimless baking sheet underneath the dough every now and then, adding some flour underneath the crust, to prevent it from sticking to the countertop. Joy of Cooking has a very useful section on rolling pie crust if you've never done it before.
6) Transfer the rolled-out pie crust into your pie pan (I use my rimless baking sheet to do this; you can also roll the dough around the rolling pin and then roll the dough out into the pan) and trim the crust so it overhangs the edge of the pan by ~1". Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and put into the fridge.
7) Roll out the second half of your pie crust (again to ~3-4 inches wider than your pan), place on a cookie sheet or other large, flat surface, cover with plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge.

Assembling the pie:
0) Preheat the oven to 425F.
1) If the pie crust has been in the fridge for a while, I like to take it out a few minutes before assembly to allow the dough to soften a bit.
2) Pour the pie filling into the pie pan that's been lined with pie crust.
3) Cut the 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and sprinkle them over the pie filling.
4) Moisten the edges of the pie crust in the pan with cool water (I use a 1-inch brush to do this), and then slide the top crust onto the pie pan.
5) My pie crusts are usually rolled out far too wide for the pan, so at this point I take a pair of scissors and trim both the top and bottom crusts so they overhang the edge of the pan by approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inch.
6) Seal the pie crust. There are many ways to do this, so use whatever technique you know. Personally, I take the overhanging pie crust, press the top and bottom pieces together, and then fold them under the pie crust that is resting on the edge of the pan. I then trim off any large clumps of dough overhanging the edge (with scissors), use a fork to crimp the edge, and then use scissors to trim off any remaining bulging pieces of dough.
7) Cut vent holes in the top of the pie, brush the top of the crust with milk, and then sprinkle with some granulated sugar (~2 teaspoons).
8) Put the pie into the preheated oven. Bake at 425F for 30 minutes, then slide a baking sheet underneath the pie (to catch drips), reduce the heat to 350F, and cook for about another 30 minutes. The pie is done when the crust is nicely browned and thick juices are bubbling out of the top. If the crust is getting overly browned before the pie is done, cover it loosely with a piece of foil.
9) Let the pie cool on a cooling rack until it is close to room temperature.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Puffy Baked Pancake

We had such a great dinner yesterday, and sorry it didn't get posted yesterday as well.  I fell asleep instead :).  We had breakfast for dinner, and we found the recipe at  It's called a Puffy Baked Pancake, and Aaron gave it a 9, and the boys and I gave it a perfect 10.  It's cruncy and chewy, has great flavor, and is so easy.  It takes about 2 minutes to come together, and then it bakes for 30 minutes, so you don't have to worry about it.  I made a few changes to the recipe, in addition to the cinnamon, I added some brown sugar and vanilla, and I left out the nutmeg.  Aaron commented it tasted kind of like a churro.  It was great.  I love how it puffed up so big, when it was just a little bit of liquid in the bottom of the dish to start out.  Anyway, have a great weekend!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Sonia here.  These may look like ordinary pie plates, but they are only 6 inches across.  Joe found the cute pie plates for me and got them for my birthday.  We love them.  No more making huge pies for just our family; one pie is all we need.  Anyway, I had some leftover pumpkin to use and decided it would be fun to make some pumpkin pie.  I used Libby's recipe but instead of evaporated milk, I used coconut milk since I had some leftover as well.

I used a yummy pie crust recipe that I will share with you next week, but here is the recipe for the pumpkin pie.  (I only did half the recipe for the 2 mini pies.)  There is only 280 calories per 1/8 of a normal pie (not including whipped cream).

Libby's Pumpkin Pie

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

PW's Twice Baked Potato

No pictures tonight, but these are such great twice baked potatoes.  I used PW's twice baked potatoes recipe, and it is one of our very favorites.  These are fast and easy, and the only change I make is to use yukon gold potatoes rather than russet, because we love gold potatoes.  This time I used onion powder rather than green onions, because that's what I had and the smell doesn't bother me as much.  Potatoes are a great pregnancy food :).  Check out the PW's pictures, and try them out, they are worth it.  We all give them between a 9 and a perfect 10.  The calories are about 306/potato half.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicken Quinoa Soup

The recipe I'm sharing is something I threw together, trying to make myself cook.  I'm not having a lot of luck with the cooking thing right now, because everything I cook tastes terrible to me.  However, the rest of the family seemed to enjoy this.  We had this with some grilled cheese sandwiches, and everyone ate it up.  Aaron and Owen gave it a 7, and Noah gave it an 8.  I gave it a 4.  Anyway, it's easy and tastes alright, if a little salty.  Here's the recipe.

Chicken Quinoa Soup

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces

Cook chicken with desired amounts of celery, onion, and garlic and top with water.  Cook as long as desired.  Remove all ingredients from the broth, add in seasonings as desired, cook down a little while you let the chicken cool.  Remove bones from chicken, and return chicken to the broth.  Add in the quinoa and cook until the quinoa is ready.  Serve.

This wasn't hard, and wasn't fabulous, but it was interesting.  I used quinoa because I didn't have any noodles, and the quinoa was a lot healthier. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Sonia here.  A friend made these cookies for us a while ago and so we thought we would make some.  The first time I did it, I didn't add enough flour (I had typed in the recipe wrong :( ) and they were not good cookies.  This time, they didn't have much flavor.  My friend must have made it differently somehow and forgotten to note the changes she made on the recipe she gave us.  Oh well.  The idea was good and the cookies, when done right, are good.  However, I think they need lots more spices.  Here is the original recipe (I can't say what she did differently to make them different, though.  Sorry.) There are only 92 calories per cookie, though.  I may try these again and experiment with the recipe.  :)  I just love experimenting.  heehee.  

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (we put 1 tsp in)
1-3/4 cups sugar, divided
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Adjust the oven racks to the upper-and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg and beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin puree and beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Place the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon for rolling in a shallow bowl. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a 1½-inch ball, roll the ball in the sugar mixture, and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the edges are set and just beginning to brown but the centers are still soft and puffy, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets about 5 minutes; using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Recipe Notes:
The dough can be made through step 3 and either covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen.
To freeze the cookie dough, portion into individual balls, roll in the cinnamon and sugar, and freeze on a parchment- or wax-paper-lined plate (don't let them touch or they will fuse together) until completely firm, 2 to 3 hours. When ready to bake, reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and increase the baking time to 17 to 22 minutes.

Yields:4 dozen


Friday, October 19, 2012

Mu Shu Pork

Sonia here.  This recipe wasn't bad, but it wasn't great.  Way too much liquid, though.  We ate it with small flour tortillas.  There were approximately 400 calories per serving.  I don't know that we will have this again because even though it wasn't bad, nobody wanted the leftovers and that tells me more than anything else.

Crockpot Mu Shu Pork

1 pound Boneless Pork Loin Chops
1 package (12 Oz. Package) Cole Slaw Mix
1 whole Red Pepper Sliced Into Thin Strips
1 whole Onion Sliced Into Thin Strips Or Half Moons
8 ounces, weight Canned Sliced Water Chestnuts, Chopped
1/2 teaspoon Freshly Grated Ginger
3 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
1 tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil
3 tablespoons Soy Sauce
1/3 cup Hoisin Sauce
1/4 cup Chicken Broth Or Water
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, Optional
1-1/2 tablespoons Corn Starch
1 package Flour Tortillas

Combine ginger, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chicken broth (or water), and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Add corn starch, mixing well to incorporate. Set mixture aside. Slice pork into thin (1/4 inch) strips and then cut the strips in half. Combine cole slaw mix, red pepper and onion strips. Place in a crock pot. Top with pork. Drizzle 1/3 of the liquid mixture over the pork. Cover and cook on high for 3 1/2 hours. Remove the cover after cooking for 3 1/2 hours and stir. Add water chestnuts and remaining liquid mixture. Stir. Cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Serve with warm tortillas. Variations: substitute boneless skinless chicken breasts for the pork. You can also serve this with rice.  serves 6.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Applesauce Spice Bars

Applesauce Spice Bars
Pages 117-118, Baking: From my home to yours Dorie Greenspan
For the Bars1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar (I used dark brown for this and the glaze)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon applejack, brandy or dark rum (optional) (I didn't use this)
1 baking apple, such as Rome or Cortland, peeled, cored and finely diced or chopped (I used a honey crisp apple)
1/2 cup plump, moist raisins (dark or golden) (I used pomegranite Craisins, because that's what I had and I like them better :))
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I didn't use these, I don't like nuts and my kids can't have nuts in their classes)
For the Glaze2-1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-x-13 inch baking pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, butter the paper and dust the inside of the pan with flour. Tap out the excess flour and put the pan on a baking sheet.
THE BARS: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt.In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the brown sugar and stir with a whisk until it is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
Still working in the saucepan, whisk in the eggs one at a time, mixing until they are well blended. Add the applesauce, vanilla and applejack, if you’re using it, and whisk until the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is once again smooth. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear, then mix in the apple, raisins and nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until the cake just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the baking pan to a rack and let the cake cool while you make the glaze.
THE GLAZE: In a small saucepan, whisk together the cream, sugar, butter and corn syrup. Put the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to the boil, whisking frequently. Adjust the heat so that the glaze simmers, and cook, whisking frequently, for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Turn the bars out onto a rack, remove the paper and invert the bars onto another rack, so they are right side up. Slide the parchment paper under the rack to serve as a drip catcher, grab a long metal icing spatula and pour the hot glaze over the bars, using the spatula to spread it evenly over the cake. Let cool to room temperature before cutting.
Cut into 32 rectangles, each about 2-1/4 x 1-1/2 inches.
Storing: In a covered container, the bars will keep for about 3 days at room temperature. Because of the glaze, they cannot be frozen.

I was so happy to feel a little like baking again, and although it didn't last long, I made these and have really been enjoying them since.  Noah and I really liked them, I gave them a 9, Noah gave them an 8, and Owen and Aaron didn't like them very much, not really surprising since they weren't brownies or chocolate chip cookies.  Owen gave them a 5 and Aaron gave them a 3.  At least I enjoyed making them and Noah and I enjoy eating them :)  I like that they are full of fruit, and that they are so easy to make.  Quick, smell good, easy food.  Perfect when pregnant :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Not So Good

Sonia here.  This year our family found out that we actually like brussels sprouts when you pan fry them up in butter, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.  When I found this recipe, I thought it might be good to try as well.  Yeah, not so much.  I'm not sure if it was the different tastes (sweet, sour, spicy, green, etc.) all mixed together, or what, but  none of us liked it.  Oh well.  At least we tried. :)

Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha, Lime, Honey Glaze

3 cups brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1-1/2 tablespoons honey
1/2-1 teaspoon sriracha  (I didn't have this, but used tabasco instead)
The juice of half a lime

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Trim the woody ends off the brussels sprouts and then slice them in half lengthwise. On a baking sheet, toss the brussels sprouts with the peanut oil and season lightly with salt. Place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Toss the sprouts and roast for 10 minutes more.

Meanwhile, whisk together the honey, sriracha and lime juice until combined. After the brussels sprouts have roasted for 20 minutes, pour the glaze over them, toss to combine, and roast for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately.

56 calories per serving  Served 4

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Easy Jam

So I always make homemade jam, and I found a super easy recipe for blueberry lemon jam somewhere on the internet.  I'm sorry I can't link to where I found it, but it is super great and easy jam.  I have since taken the basic recipe and played with all sorts of combinations, like blackberry, raspberry vanilla, strawberry lime, blueberry lime, and now today I made plain strawberry, since that's what my boys voted for.  Here is this simple, fast jam recipe.

Strawberry Jam

4 c strawberries, more or less (I used a little more) (use any combination of fruit and jello)
1 3/4 c sugar
3 oz box strawberry jello

Cook sugar and strawberries together in a large pan.  Blend with an immersion blender or smush with a potato masher, whichever texture you prefer (I like mine smooth).  Add in the jello, bring to a boil, then simmer for a little while.  Cool then refrigerate.  This tastes great, and is so easy, no finnicky pectin.  We give this a 9, and it's about 30 calories per tablespoon. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lazy Man's Enchiladas

Sonia here.  This is my lazy day version of enchiladas that I use quite a lot.  Instead of rolling up, you just layer.  Fast, easy, and just as delicious.  

Lazy Man's Enchiladas

1 lb ground beef
1 15oz can red enchilada sauce
3 cups shredded cheese
4 tortillas

sour cream
green onions

Brown beef.  Add sauce.  Spray pan with non-stick spray.  Place a tortilla in the bottom.  Layer 1/3 meat sauce, 1 cup cheese, 1 tortilla, until the top. *if tortillas are too big, slice off the edges, tear them into smaller pieces, and use them to top off the last layer of cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Top with sour cream, tomatoes, olives, and green onions if you want.

about 600 calories per serving

Sunday, October 14, 2012

chocolate Chip Pancakes

We had these yummy pancakes for Sunday breakfast. I love these pancakes because you can add anything you want to them. We had chocolate chips in some, blueberries in others, and we've had them with butterscotch chips and other fruit as well.  Unfortunately, we moved yesterday, so  I won't be able to post this delicious recipe at this time. I'll update it as soon as I'm able, but until then, here are the pictures, and we will post on a normal schedule again next week.   We had to move yesterday up to Flagstaff which is why I didn't post yesterday. We give these pancakes a 9. I'm hopefully going to start using Bobby Flay's Throwdown Cookbook in the coming weeks.

Friday, October 12, 2012

An Unusual Salad

Sonia here.   I almost always like Pioneer Woman's recipes and this was no exception.  However, the idea is unusual.  It essentially is a cheeseburger deconstructed into a salad.  My husband was a little unsure but he said it was actually good.  My daughter said it was okay but that she just doesn't like salads.  The meal as prepared has about 450 calories per serving.  The homemade croutons from the hamburger buns were a great hit.  Very yummy.

The only things I did differently was to use green onions instead of red, to use one hamburger bun instead of two (we halved the recipe), to use regular dill pickle slices instead of spears, and to add some mayonnaise and pickle juice to the meat for a more "fry sauce" mixture which we like a lot.  (Fry sauce is mainly a Utah thing, but man is it good.  It is a mixture of ketchup, mustard, mayo, and pickle juice - some places make it slightly different so each restaurant has a slightly different flavor, but we sure like it.)  We will be having this again.  Oh, and no other dressing is needed, which is nice.

Cheeseburger Salad

2 pounds Ground Beef
1/3 cup Ketchup
1 teaspoon Yellow Mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon Or Spicy Mustard
2 tablespoons Barbecue Sauce
2 heads Romaine Or Green-Leaf Lettuce, Torn
8 whole Dill Pickle Spears, Cubed
4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 whole Red Onion, Sliced
4 whole Hamburger Buns
1 stick Butter

Brown meat in a large skillet, then remove from heat and drain off the fat. Add ketchup, mustards, and barbecue sauce to the meat and stir to combine. Taste and add more of whatever you think it needs. Keep warm.
Cut hamburger buns into 1-inch cubes. Melt 1/4 stick butter in a separate skillet, then add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Toast the croutons in the skillet over low heat for about 10 -12 minutes, adding 1/4 stick of butter every couple of minutes until you've used the whole stick. (This will ensure all the croutons soak up the butter and toast nicely.)
To assemble each salad, pile torn lettuce on a plate. Pile on a good quantity of the meat mixture, then top with plenty of grated cheddar. Add diced tomato, chunks of pickles, and slices of red onion over the top, then sprinkle warm croutons all around the plate.  Serves 6  from

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sunshine Power Muffins

Really good, but not very sweet. My dad gave them an 8-9.  My mom, Bonnie, who sent this recipe,  gave them an 8. She thinks once they sit for awhile they will taste better.

1 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oats                      
1/2 cup flax seed meal     
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder         
1/2 tsp salt       
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsps orange rind
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup granola
1. Preheat oven to 375*.
Coat 12 muffins cups with cooking spray.
2. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients in a mixing bowl.  
3. Combine honey and next 5 ingredients in a separate bowl.  Whisk well.  
4. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients. Pour wet
ingredients into the well and stir until combined. Gently
fold in apricots.                 
5. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle with granola. Bake 18-20
minutes or until center springs back when touched. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Old Family Favorite

Sonia here.  This recipe is an old family favorite.  It dates back to when I was a child and my mom used to make these.  I really liked it then and I still do.  I have no clue where this recipe came from but have had it for years.

Corned Beef Bunwiches

1 can corned beef
3 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped olives
2/3 cup shredded cheese
4 hamburger buns

Mix all ingredients together, except buns.  Put 1/4 of the filling on each bun. Wrap in tin foil. Bake in oven at 375 for 25 minutes. Serves 4

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Broccoli Salad

Here is a broccoli salad recipe that I had in a church meeting and I really liked it.  I hope you enjoy it, too.  Bonnie, Vicki’s mom



Broccoli Salad


4 cups fresh broccoli, chopped small     2 cups green grapes cut in half

2 cups red grapes cut in half

2/3 cup sliced almonds

1 small bag sunflower seeds (@1 cup)

1 bag craisins (@1 cup)

1 cup Mayo with 1 Tb red wine vinegar and ½ cup sugar for dressing


Combine all ingredients and toss with dressing. 


Another option for the dressing is to use a coleslaw dressing with the mayo and add sweet onion.


We made this for a party, so did not taste it.  I think I would prefer using something besides the mayo.  

People at the party seemed to really enjoy it, so we gave it an 8.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pumpkin Drop Biscuits and Citrus Honey Butter


yummy butter

Sonia again.  I have to say that the biscuits were nothing special, but man, the honey butter was great.  We all gave the honey butter a 9 almost 10 all around but for the biscuits, my husband rated a 4 (he really did not like the texture and the fact that there was not a lot of taste in the biscuits themselves was a bummer).  My daughter gave the biscuits a 7, and I gave them a 6.  But with the butter - they were yummy.  Of course, like my husband said - anything would be good with the honey butter.  I think I will make the butter again when we have cornbread.  MMM  that would be tasty.  The calories are 250 per biscuit.

Pumpkin Drop Biscuits with Citrus Honey butter

2 cups All-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 cup Cold Butter Cubed
3/4 cup Whole Milk (give Or Take 1/4 Cup) - we only used 1/2 cup total and the dough was plenty moist.
3/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup Butter, Softened
3 tablespoons Honey
1 tablespoon Orange Zest Or A Combination Of Orange And Lemon Zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or melted butter and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon. Using a fork or pastry cutter, blend cold butter cubes into dry ingredients until it is similar to coarse meal. Stir in milk, pumpkin and vanilla until all ingredients are equally moist and flour is incorporated. (If you need a little more, add in about 1/4 cup more milk.) Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the greased baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bottoms have browned slightly.
While biscuits are baking, whip butter, honey and zest together until smooth and light in color, about 2 minutes.
Serve biscuits warm with citrus honey butter   Serves 12

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fast, Easy, and Yummy

Sonia here.  Our next meal was fast, easy, and yummy.  I think we all gave it an 8.  We could have put a little more pesto spread on it and a little more cheese and asparagus and a little more salt, but we really enjoyed these.  If you follow the recipe it only serves two and gives only one slice per person with a calorie count of 310.  We tripled the recipe and each ate two slices for dinner.

Asparagus Muenster Melt with Pesto Spread

8 spears Asparagus
3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Pesto
2 slices Ciabatta Bread
2 slices Thin Prosciutto
4 slices Tomato
2 slices Muenster Cheese

Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Steam, covered, 3 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Preheat broiler.
Combine mayonnaise and pesto in a bowl, and stir to combine.
Spread 2 tablespoons pesto mixture onto 1 side of each bread slice. Layer each slice with 4 asparagus spears, 1 prosciutto slice, 2 tomato slices, and 1 cheese slice.
Place on a baking sheet; broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

serves 2  from

Friday, October 5, 2012

PW's Restaurant Style Salsa

We love PW's Restaurant Style Salsa around here.  It's our go to salsa.  We eat it with our tacos, and chow down on chips and salsa all the time.  This is great salsa, and the only changes I make are to add more salt and to leave out the sugar.  Great, fast and easy, we eat this a LOT, but we do cut the recipe in half because it makes a lot :).  We give this recipe a 9, and the calories are negligible, maybe about 20 for 1/2 cup.  We had this the same day as our Lime Chicken Tacos, and man were they good :)  Thanks PW!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lime Chicken Tacos

We love lime chicken tacos!  This is a fast, easy meal, with only about 100-150 calories per serving, depending on how big your serving is.  I love that you can use frozen chicken breasts, and it turns out so well.  This is great on any kind of Mexican dish, and we love to freeze extras and have it as a pick-up meal.  We all give this an 8.  Here's the recipe!

Lime Chicken Tacos
3-5 large chicken breasts, frozen or thawed
2 T lime juice
2 T olive oil
2 T fajita seasoning (or use Mexican spices how you would like, which is what I usually do)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 t pepper
2 T cumin

Place everything in a slow cooker.  Cook on low until chicken is easily shreddable.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chicken Bacon Noodle Casserole

Sonia again.  I don't know where I got this recipe, but we enjoyed it.  I gave it an 8.  My daughter gave it a 9 and my husband gave it a 6.  I thought it was good, but thought it needed some onions and some more spices.  My husband said it didn't have enough flavor for him, even with the bacon.  My daughter said she really liked it and that it was almost a 10 for her.  It serves 6 and the calories per serving were 361.

Chicken Bacon Noodle Casserole

1/2 lb ground chicken, cooked (I used turkey since that is what I had in my fridge.)
1/2 lb bacon, diced and cooked
1/2 lb pasta, cooked
1 can cream of something soup (I used cream of chicken)
1 1/2 cups cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together and put into a oven safe pan.  (I used an 8x12.)  Bake for 20-30 minutes until everything is hot all the way through.  A great way to use leftover chicken and pasta. (I did add some fresh thyme but didn't know how much to add.  It needed more.)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tuscan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Hi, I am Bonnie, Vicki’s mother.  I am glad I got to do this because I get to try some new recipes.  Here is the first one—the name of the recipe built up my hopes, but it was a bit disappointing, but we tried it.


Tuscan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables


6 Roma tomatoes (about 1 pound total)

3 medium zucchini (about ½ pound each)

1 bulb fennel (I used an onion from our garden since the grocery store had no fennel)

3 Tbs. olive oil

¾ tsp salt

4 bone-in chicken breast halves, skin removed (about 2 ½ pounds)

4 cloves garlic finely minced (about 4 tsps.)

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp. dried, crumbled.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Cut the tomatoes lengthwise into quarters and remove the seeds.  Trim the zucchini tips and cut in half crosswise.  Then cut each piece in half lengthwise twice if the piece is thin and three times if its thicker, so that the pieces are relatively uniform.  Remove the outermost layer of the fennel bulb and discard.  Cut the bulb in half so that each half retains part of the stem end.  Cut each half into 8 thin wedges so each wedge is held together by a little piece of stem.   Put the vegetables in a large baking dish.  Toss them with 2 Tbs of the oil and ¼ tsp of the salt.  Arrange the chicken pieces in the pan with the vegetables.  


In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 Tbs oil and ½ tsp salt, the garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Rub the mixture into the chicken in the pan and season with pepper to taste.  Roast for 30 minutes, then give the vegetables a stir and add the rosemary.  Return to the oven and roast until the chicken is just cooked all the way through and the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, 15 to 25 minutes more.  


Yield: 4 servings Per serving (1 piece of chicken and 1 ½ cups vegetables) = 410 calories.  


My husband and I both ate a breast, but only about a quarter cup of vegetables, but we added some frozen corn which had 70 calories per serving which was 2/3 cup, so I think this probably equaled out to the 410 calories still.


We gave this a 7.  The vegetables were good, especially the zucchini, but since I don’t like cooked tomatoes, that brought the dish down.  Even with the spices the chicken was very bland and rather tough for chicken breasts.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Asiago Potato Soup -- mmm Good

Sonia here again.  Today's offering was good, really good, actually.  And it wasn't as hard as it might seem.  It takes some prep work ahead of time but then it came together in about 20 minutes.  I didn't like the way it instructed you to make the roux (it made it very difficult to get it smooth), but that is easy enough to change.  The only things I did differently was to not add parsley or cilantro and used dried minced onion instead of onion salt.  We really enjoyed this.  My daughter gave it a 7,  my husband and gave it an 8 and I gave it an 8.5.  I got the recipe from a Relief Society activity.  It says it is supposed to feed 8.  I think a full recipe would feed  10-12.  For serving 8, it would be 900 calories per serving.

Asiago Potato Soup

1 lb. smoked bacon, we just used regular bacon and it still tasted smoky
1 tsp. onion salt
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 c. butter
1 – 1 1/2 c. flour
1 tablespoons granulated chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon course black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 qt. half and half
1-2 at. 2% milk (not sure what measurement this is supposed to be, but I just put in enough to make it the thickness I wanted.)
8 ounces freshly grated Asiago Cheese
18 baby red potatoes
8 green onion stalks, finely chopped
1/4 c. cilantro, minced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Dice bacon and sauté. Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Dice baby potatoes, with skins, into bite size pieces and toss in remaining bacon drippings to coat evenly. Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle with parsley flakes and kosher salt. Place in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, turning potatoes every 10 minutes until golden brown. Do not over- cook. Potatoes will fry as they bake in the oven. Melt butter in a large pot with chicken bouillon, onion salt and pepper. Slowly add flour beginning with 1 c. until the butter is completely absorbed. Add more flour until mixture in crumbly. Using a whisk, slowly stir in the half and half until is it smooth. Soup will thicken as it cooks. Fold in cheese and green onions. Add fried potatoes and bacon to the soup. The consistency should be very thick. Begin slowly stirring in milk until you reach desired thickness. Top with homemade croutons, fresh cilantro and serve.  from Aubrie Poppleton

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chicken Kiev

It's Sonia, again.  Today's recipe was Alton Brown's Chicken Kiev.  We all enjoyed it, but while it tasted good, it was frustrating to get it to work well.  It wouldn't stay rolled once I tried dipping it in the egg and panko and then of course when I cooked it, it came open even more.    We all gave it an 8.  We will have it again sometime, but I may try tying it up with string next time.  Here is the recipe and link.

Chicken Kiev

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning chicken
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 large whole eggs, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
2 cups Japanese bread crumbs (panko), plus 1/4 cup for filling
Vegetable oil, for frying

Combine butter, parsley, tarragon, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place mixture on plastic wrap or waxed paper and roll into small log; place in freezer.

Place chicken breasts, 1 at a time, between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Squirt chicken lightly with water and squirt the top of the plastic wrap as well. Pound to no less than 1/8-inch thickness. Season each piece of chicken with salt and pepper.

Lay 1 chicken breast on a new piece of plastic wrap and place 1/4 of the compound butter and 1 tablespoon bread crumbs in the center of each breast. Using the plastic wrap to assist, fold in ends of breast and roll breast into a log, completely enclosing the butter; roll very tightly. Repeat with each breast. Place chicken in refrigerator for 2 hours, or up to overnight.

Place egg and water mixture in 1 pie pan and 2 cups bread crumbs in a different pie pan.

Heat 1/2-inch of vegetable oil in a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat until oil reaches 375 degrees F.

Dip each breast in the egg mixture and then roll in the bread crumbs. Gently place each breast in oil, sealed-side down, and cook until golden brown, approximately 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Remove to a cooling rack set in sheet pan and allow to drain for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.  Serves 4  calories about 700

alton brown -