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.