Monday, December 7, 2009

Marshmallow Popcorn Bars

I made these popcorn bars for our FHE treat tonight. It was a great choice because they were easy to make, I had all the ingredients on hand and everyone enjoyed them. Serve them up with some hot cocoa and you have yourself a fast and festive treat.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for dish
1/2 cup popcorn kernels or one 3.5-ounce package plain microwave popcorn
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows

Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Pop the popcorn according to the package directions.

Melt the butter and marshmallows in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth, 5 to 7 minutes.

Fold in the popcorn until coated. Press into the prepared dish and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting into 24 bars.

**The bars are best served within 6 hours but can be made and stored at room temperature, covered, up to 1 day in advance.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Chocolate Banana Cream Pie

Made this today for Relief Society Meeting tonight. Just call me Suzy Homemaker.


1 (9 inch) pie crust
2 (1 oz) squares smisweet chocolate
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp butter
2 bananas, sliced
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 (3.5 oz) package instant banana cream or vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 c shredded coconut
1 1/2 c whipped topping


1. Combine chocolate, 1 tbsp milk, and butter in medium, microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 - 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Spread evenly in pie crust.

2. Arrange banana slices over chocolate.

3. Pour 1 1/2 cups milk inot large bowl. Add pudding mix; beat with wire whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in coconut. Spoon over banana slices in crust.

4. Spread whipped topping over pie. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Store in refrigerator.

Serves 8


Friday, October 16, 2009

Famous French Bread

This recipe is from my friend Kathleen. I am not much of a baker so I was a bit hesitant. However, the bread turned out great and it was relatively easy (even without a mixer). So if I can do it, you can too! Enjoy!

2 1/2 cups very warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons cooking oil
6 cups flour
2 packages of yeast (or approximately 5 teaspoons)

Measure out water and add yeast and set aside (also add part of the sugar). In mixing bowl add all other ingredients as well as the yeast mixture. Stir for 2-3 minutes and then turn off mixer and let dough stand for 10 minutes and then mix again/ Repeat this process 5 times. Turn dough onto floured board and divide into two parts. Roll each part of dough into rectangle about 9"x12" and roll up like a jello roll, rolling from the long side. Pinch edge of loaf to seal the dough. Arrange lengthwise on a cookie sheet. Cover lightly; rise 30 minutes. With sharp knife, cut three gashes at an angle on top and bursh entire surface with slightly beaten egg. May sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake immediately at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tacos with Chicken and Black Beans

This is one of our favorites. I got the recipe from my friend Mary and we have enjoyed it time and time again.

2 chicken breast, no skin, no bone, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil (more if necessary), divided
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3/4 cup cooked black beans or 15 oz. can, darined
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup red pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 pinch cayenne pepper
10 fresh corn tortilla shells, best cooked in hot oil
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, or Monterey Jack
1/2 cup sour cream

Stir 2 teaspoons lime juice and 2 teaspoons olive oil to coat chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Stir-fry chicken for 1 minute until seared; remove with a slotted spoon, cover and keep warm.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Saute onions and garlic for 2 minutes until softened. Add beans, tomatoes, red pepper, and jalapeno. Saute 2 minutes to warm, shaking pan.

Gently stir in remaining 2 teaspoons lime juice, salt, cilantro and chicken. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until warm. Taste, add cayenne and adjust seasonings. Serve in warm, crisp taco shells with cheese and sour cream. Buen Provecho!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tropical Chicken Salad Sandwiches

I think these are the kind of things that taste better than they look. I wasn't sure about them at first, but the mix is really yummy! The original recipe calls for a couple things I didn't add (shredded coconut and nuts), but I don't love either. It also says to put the mix on croissants, but I went for a healthier whole-wheat pita option. I think it was great that way! I was able to make 8 pita halves with some mix leftover (I probably could have done 10, but I ran out of pitas). This is easy, peasy, too!

1 large can chicken (drained)
1 large can mandarin oranges (drained)
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 cup nuts (optional)
1 T. milk
1/2 cup mayo (I used lite and it worked great)
1/2 tea. garlic salt
1/2 tea. sugar

1. Put all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Mix well.
3. Serve on croissants (or in pita pockets!).
4. Or, save in the refrigerator until ready to put into sandwiches.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crisp-and-Creamy Baked Chicken

So so yummy. Break out the Shake'N'Bake!
3-4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2-1 pouch Shake'N'Bake Extra Crispy
2 cups instant white rice, uncooked
1/2-1 can condensed cream of celery soup
1/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
PREHEAT over to 400 degrees. Coat chicken with coating mix as directed on package; place in greased 9X9 baking dish.
BAKE 20 min or until chicken is cooked through. Meanwhile, cook rice as directed on package.
BEAT soup and milk with wire whisk until well blended. Pour evenly over chicken; sprinkle with cheese. Bake an additional 5 min. Serve with rice.
Makes 4 servings.

Calfornia Grilled Veggie Sandwich

I'm always on the lookout for good vegetarian recipes. This one is great. I've made it a couple of times now - including for my sister and my dinner co-op - and it has been thoroughly enjoyed every time!

I think the sauce really makes this sandwich what it is. The bread helps, too. This recipe is slightly adapted from a highly-rated one I got on All Recipes. The original calls for foccacia bread which I've tried and is good. I prefer (homemade) ciabatta because the flavor of the sauce and veggies really comes out that way. You can also swap veggies (add mushroom or eggplant) and cheeses (feta, provolone, Parmesan...) to suit your desires.

Sauce -
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Sandwich -
1 T. olive oil
1 red bell peppers, sliced
2 small zucchini, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 small yellow squash, sliced
Good bread (foccacia, ciabatta, etc...)
Your choice of cheese (optional; I've used Parmesan and Provolone)

1. In a bowl mix sauce ingredients (mayo, garlic, lemon juice); refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Preheat grill or broiler.
3. In a separate bowl, toss veggies with olive oil until all are coated.
4. Grill or broil, turning as necessary and watching carefully until veggies are done to your likely.
5. Assemble sandwich: put sauce on bread, top with veggies, add cheese (if desired).
6. Enjoy the vegetarian goodness!

Baked Oatmeal

Breakthrough! My 2-year-old ate oatmeal today! Granted, it wasn't the healthiest version of oatmeal, but he got eggs, heart-healthy oatmeal, and calories. It took some time to get him to try it, but he enjoyed it once he did! My husband also gave it rave reviews and he just took a little portion with him on the way to school. Give it a shot for a little variety in your morning breakfast! PS: I got the recipe from the My Kitchen Cafe website.

6 cups oatmeal (you can use quick or rolled)
2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup oil
2 cups milk
4 beaten eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.
3. Add wet ingredients and stir.
4. Pour mixture into a greased 9x13 pan.
5. Bake 20-25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
6. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes to cool before cutting.
7. Serve with milk in a bowl, if desired.

Notes: I halved mine and put it in an 8x8. Mine also took about 15 minutes longer to get done in the middle, but my oven is crap. If you don't wait for it to cool a bit, it will come out in pieces, which is fine if you want to eat it like regular oatmeal in a bowl with milk. It's yummy either way!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

This is a super easy and quick recipe for those nights when you just don't have the energy to think about dinner. ;) All of my family enjoyed it.

Easy Spaghetti Bolognese
1/2 lb. spaghetti, uncooked
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
4 Tbsp. Zesty Italian Dressing
3/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
COOK pasta as directed on package.Meanwhile, brown meat with onions and garlic in large nonstick skillet. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste and dressing. Bring to boil; cook on medium-low heat 5 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
DRAIN pasta; place in large bowl. Add meat sauce; mix lightly. Sprinkle with cheese.
*Found this on the Kraft website.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

I had Brian make me these pancakes for Mother's Day and then I was craving them again over the weekend so I thought I'd post the recipe. I changed it only slightly from the original recipe via You Got Served. I think regular maple syrup kind of ruins these, but that's the way Brian likes them. I've tried them with regular and lemon glazes (powdered sugar and milk), but they're good on their own too!

3/4 Cup Flour (try whole wheat, for extra benefits!)
1 tea. Baking Powder
1/2 tea. Salt
3 T Sugar
2 Eggs
1/3 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Canola Oil
1 Cup Ricotta Cheese (I used part-skim)
Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon

1. Preheat griddle or skillet to medium heat.
2. Combine dry ingredients.
3. In a separate bowl whisk the wet ingredients.
4. Whisk the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
5. Add lemon juice and zest.
6. Pour approximately 1/4 c batter on griddle or skillet. (I let them cook slowly.)
7. Cook pancakes until golden brown, flipping once.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Apple Muffins

This is a great recipe if you have apples that are getting old and you don't know what to do with them!

Sift together:
2 cups all purpose flour (you could also use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup white flour, or 2/3 cup oat flour and 1-1/3 cup white flour. Grind 1 cup oatmeal in a blender for oat flour)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

Stir in:
1/2 cup finely chopped apple

In another bowl, combine:
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil

Add liquid to dry ingredients; stir. Fill 12 muffin cups.

Mix 3 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Coat 1 cup sliced apple with the above sugar mixture. Press apple slices into batter in cups. Bake at 400 F for 20 to 25 minutes.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Vegetarian Baked Ziti

I made this yesterday for a get-together at my house and it was a hit!
Sorry I had no time to get a pic of it.


1 large egg, beaten
1 tbs garlic powder (or to taste)
1 tbs oregano
1 tbs black pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
16 oz. cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
12 oz. grated mozzarella cheese
16-24 oz. spaghetti sauce

1lb ziti prepared as per box directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine first 7 ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Spray bottom and sides of casserole dish with Pam or other oil spray.
Spread about 2 tbs of sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
Layer 1/2 of the ziti, cheese mixture, sauce. Repeat.
Top with remaining sauce and some grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Bake covered with aluminum foil until bubbly on the sides, about 40 minutes.

Serves 6-8

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Red River Beef Stroganoff

A couple of years ago, I was on the hunt for a Stroganoff recipe that did not call for Cream of Mushroom soup (I can't handle that stuff!). I found this recipe on AllRecipes, slightly altered it and fell in love. The basil gives it a really nice flavor. I have only ever made it with venison, but I'm sure it's delicious either way. 

Red River Beef Stroganoff

2 lbs. sirloin steak (or venison), cut into strips
1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. butter
1 onion, chopped
1 can beef broth
1 small jar mushrooms
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 T. Worchestershire sauce
1 c. sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked rice or egg noodles

Melt half of butter in large skillet over medium heat; add onions and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes. While onions cook, put the flour in a bowl, add salt and pepper, and dredge meat in the flour. When onions are translucent, remove from pan and set aside. Place the remaining butter in the skillet and add the meat, browning on all sides. Then add the broth, mushrooms, basil, Worchestershire sauce and onions. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream just before serving. Serve over white rice or egg noodles.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

I made these sugar cookies for Valentine's Day and I really, really like them! I do, however, love cream cheese. You do have to refrigerate them - and that can be a turn-off to some people - but I think they are well worth it! You should give them a try!

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp (use real butter...I had to use 1/4 cup of salted butter, and it turned out fine)
1 - 8 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract (I omitted this b/c I didn't have any)
4 cups flour (I may have added up to an extra 1/2 cup)
1 tsp. baking powder

1. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, cream cheese, almond and vanilla extracts, and egg. Beat until smooth.
2. Stir in flour and baking powder until well blended.
3. Chill the dough 8 hours or overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/3 at a time to 1/8 inch thickness, refrigerating remaining dough until ready to use.
6. Cut dough into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters.
7. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
8. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven (mine needed to go a bit longer), or until light and golden brown.
9. Cool cookies completely before frosting.

St. Valentine's Baked Ziti

The guaranteed way into your Valentine's heart!

1 lb dry ziti pasta
1/2 to 1 whole onion, chopped (personal preference on amount, I used 1/2)
1 lb lean ground beef
2 (26 oz) jars spaghetti sauce (traditional Hunts is 98 cents each at Walmart)
6-8 slices Provolone cheese
1 1/2 cups light sour cream (tastes the same)
6 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water and about 1 tbps Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a boil. Add ziti pasta, cook about 8 minutes; drain.

2. In a large skillet, brown beef and onions over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer 15 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9X13 dish with Pam. Layer in pan as follows:
1/2 of the ziti,
slices of Provolone cheese,
sour cream, evenly spread,
1/2 sauce mix,
remaining ziti,
1/2 Mozzarella cheese,
remaining sauce mix,
remaining Mozzarella cheese.
Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until all cheese are melted.

Total Prep time: 30 min
Total cook time 30 min
Serves 4-6

I promise you will not be disappointed in this recipe. If you or your valentine are somehow unsatisfied with this dish after following all the steps correctly, I will personally come to your home and cook it for you (as long as you live within a reasonable driving distance to me and you provide all the ingredients).

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche

This is another great recipe I found on one of the websites I mentioned in my previous post. It's a super easy, cheesy quiche so don't be intimidated! Especially good if you like sun-dried tomatoes.

3/4 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
2/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
2 T. finely diced onions
1 tea. Italian seasoning
1/2 tea. salt
4 eggs
1 cup half-and-half (I used fat free and it turned out fine)
3/4 cup milk (I used fat free here too)
1 T. flour
One 9-inch frozen pie crust

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Bake the pie crust for 5 minutes.
3. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
4. In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together.
5. Pour mixture into the crust.
6. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. Slice into wedges and serve.

So Good Strawberry-Banana Bread

I almost always have old bananas in my freezer. It seems like we never eat them fast enough and I always feel guilty throwing them away. (I'm slowly getting over that.) This is one of my favorite recipes for banana bread. It's so good and addictive! It's really not all that hard either. It makes a TON though, so it's a good recipe for sharing! (Or you can half it.)

1 cup butter, softened (I used real butter, but I'm sure margarine works)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups ripe bananas (about 6 medium), mashed
4 eggs
1 tea salt
2 tea baking soda
3 cups flour
1 1/2 pounds frozen sliced strawberries, thawed (I used whole strawberries w/o sugar and sliced them myself)

1. Grease 2 9x5-inch loaf pans.
2. Preaheat oven to 325 degrees.
3. In a larging mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
4. Incorporate the bananas in the sugar mix and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each one. Set aside
6. In another bowl, mix together the salt, baking soda, and flour.
7. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir until fully incorporated.
8. Add the strawberries.
9. Pour into prepared pans.
10. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
11. Cool completely on a rack before inverting onto a plate.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

I made these tonight for our dinner co-op. (Cooking once a week - what a fabulous thing!) I got this picture and recipe from a chica in my ward who makes some amazing food. (Lady sounds too old and girl sounds too young.) She actually got this recipe from someone else. It's also on another blog. Obviously it's good. Don't let the chili powder scare you, it's not too spicy. The enchilada sauce is spicier, so I just got mild. It's easy too! The hardest part is shredding the chicken. Enjoy!

Marinade -
6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons lime juice (1 large lime)
1 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded
8-10 flour tortillas (I used whole wheat tortillas)
1 pound monterey jack cheese, shredded
16 ounces green enchilada sauce
1 cup heavy cream

1. Whisk the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken in a Zip-loc bag.
2. Let it marinate for at least a 1/2 hour, but preferably a half day or so.
3. Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan.
4. Fill the tortillas with chicken, saving marinade, and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas.
5. Put tortillas in 9x13 pan as you go.
6. Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade (if there is any).
7. Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas.
8. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.