Saturday, October 31, 2009

Chicken Pasta Primavera

This is a really easy skillet meal that comes together in just minutes. Chicken, vegetables and pasta coated in a creamy sauce. . . what could be better?

2 cups uncooked spiral pasta
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (16 ounces) frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, thawed (sometimes called "California blend vegetables")
3/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute chicken and garlic in butter until chicken is no longer pink. Add the vegetables and cream; cook until vegetables are tender. Drain pasta. Add the pasta, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook and stir until heated through.

Yield: 4 servings.

Source: Quick Cooking Magazine

Friday, October 30, 2009

Peach Glazed Cake

Ok, so this is the COOLEST recipe ever! Take a look at the ingredients below. . . can you tell me why??? Ok, time's up! This recipe has NO added OIL or FAT, and has only 5 ingredients!! Amazingly, this cake is light, moist and delicious! Enjoy!

1 can (15 ounces) pear halves, drained
1 package (18-1/4 ounces) white cake mix
3 eggs
1 jar (12 ounces) peach preserves, divided
fresh peach slices or thawed frozen peach slices

In a blender or food processor, cover and process pears until pureed. Transfer to a mixing bowl; add the cake mix and eggs. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch fluted tube (bundt) pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
In a microwave safe bowl, heat 1/2 cup of peach preserves uncovered on high for 60-90 seconds or until melted. Slowly brush over warm cake. Cool completely. Slice cake, top with peach slices and melted remaining preserves.

Yield: 10-12 servings.

Source: Quick Cooking Magazine

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

This side potato dish is phenomenal, simply because it tastes like twice baked potatoes, but requires only about half the effort and time to prepare!

8 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
2 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 teaspoon minced chives or green onions (optional)

Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water; cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain, transfer to a mixing bowl and mash. Add sour cream, butter, salt and pepper; beat until smooth and fluffy. Transfer to a greased 2-1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese, bacon, and chives or green onions (if desired). Bake, uncovered, at 325 for 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

Yield: 8-10 servings.

Source: Quick Cooking Magazine

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fried Rice

This is an easy way to make delicious fried rice. This obviously makes a lot, so cut it back to what you need. It's easy to change the recipe to fit you. Just a tip: It is easier to use rice that is cold. I make my rice in the morning and then put it in the fridge until I'm ready to use it. Enjoy!

6 cups cooked rice
1 pound bacon
6 eggs
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water

Slice the bacon and cook in pan. Once cooked, remove bacon. Leave behind some bacon grease. Scramble your eggs in the same pan you cooked your bacon in. Take out of pan and set aside. Put in a little more bacon grease and add your rice to the pan. Cook your rice until heated through. Meanwhile, stir together the soy sauce, sugar and water. Pour over the warmed rice and fry until moisture is all absorbed. Add back in your bacon, eggs and the green onions.

Serve rice with your favorite Chinese side dishes and enjoy!

Orange Cashew Chicken

This is a very yummy change-of-pace stir fry. It is SUPER fast, and the sweet citrus sauce is really different!

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium carrots, sliced
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 to 1/2 cup salted cashews
Hot cooked rice

In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry chicken, carrots and celery in oil for 8-10 minutes or until juices run clear. Reduce heat. In a bowl, combine the cornstarch, ginger, orange juice, honey and soy sauce until blended. Stir into the chicken mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cashews and serve over rice.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: Quick Cooking Magazine

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Potato Minestrone

This soup is really easy because it simmers all day in the slow cooker and you don't have to mess with it. The house smells awesome as it cooks, and all you have to do to to have dinner ready is slice some bread and throw together a salad and voila! For a thicker soup, mash half of the garbanzo beans before adding them to the slow cooker.

2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
2 cups frozen cubed hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups frozen peas and carrots, thawed

In a slow cooker, combine the first 13 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Stir in the spinach, peas and carrots; heat through.

Yield: 12 servings (about 3 quarts).

Source: Quick Cooking Magazine

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the best chocolate chip cookies ever. The recipe makes a ton, so be prepared for a lot of cookies. Luckily they freeze nicely. Just thaw and enjoy again and again!

1 1/3 cups shortening
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla
6 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 bag chocolate chips
2 cups nuts - optional

Mix shortening, butter and sugars until really smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add chocolate chips and nuts.

Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Frosted Banana Bars

These have a flavor similar to banana bread, but I like them even better! It makes a TON of them (a full cookie sheet pan) so it will feed a large crowd. They also freeze extremely well. Just thaw and serve!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed (approx. 1 cup mashed bananas)

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3-3/4 to 4 cups powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in bananas. Spread into a greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan (cookie sheet or sheet cake pan). Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. cool.
For frosting, in a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually beat in enough powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency. Frost bars. Store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 3-4 dozen

Source: Taste of Home Potluck

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cornish Game Hens with Garlic and Rosemary

This a delicious and easy way to make Cornish game hens. We like it so much, we have even had them for our Christmas dinner.

4 Cornish game hens
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon, quartered
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil
24 cloves garlic (Yes, that's right 24!)
2/3 cup chicken broth
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. Rub hens with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Lightly season hens with salt and pepper. Place 1 lemon wedge and 1 sprig rosemary in cavity of each hen. Arrange in a large, heavy roasting pan, and arrange garlic cloves around hens. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together chicken broth, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Pour over hens. Continue roasting about 25 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes.

4. Transfer hens to a platter, pouring any cavity juices into the roasting pan. Tent hens with aluminum foil to keep warm. Transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a medium saucepan and boil until liquids reduce to a sauce consistency, about 6 minutes. Cut hens in half lengthwise and arrange on plates. Spoon sauce and garlic around hens. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve.

Yield: 4 servings


  • I always add some of the chicken broth to the pan at the beginning with the garlic, so that the garlic won't burn. It works well and I haven't had any burned garlic yet.

  • We have never actually used the sauce on the hens, although it tastes delicious, it isn't necessary to the hens.

  • I don't cut the hens in half. I just leave them whole. I think it is more fun!

  • I don't own a large heavy roasting pan, a normal pan seems to work just fine.

  • I use as many hens as I happen to need. So if it's just Aaron and I, I will only use 2, but I still make the recipe the same way.

  • The original recipe calls for 1/3 cup white wine and 1/3 cup chicken broth. Since we never have wine on hand I just double the chicken broth, but feel free to try the wine/chicken broth combo, I'm sure it's delicious too.

source: Allrecipes

Zucchini Rice Pilaf

This is a great change-of-pace rice recipe, and we make it quite often to go with most any dish, usually chicken. And, it uses up zucchini you may have in your garden, which is a plus!

1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2-1/4 cups water
1-1/4 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

In a skillet, saute basil in butter for 1 minute. Add water and bouillon. Bring to a boil. Stir in the rice and carrot. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add zucchini; simmer 10 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: Quick Cooking Magazine

Friday, October 23, 2009

Beefy Baked Ravioli

I love this recipe. It tastes just like a lasagna, but is so much easier to make. My favorite cheese ravioli to use is the Kirkland brand at Costco, but any cheese ravioli will do. I also never seem to have Monterey Jack cheese on hand, So I use Colby Jack in its place when I need to.

1 pound ground beef
1/2 (25 ounce) package frozen cheese ravioli
1 (14 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F
2. Crumble the ground beef into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until no longer pink. Drain grease, then stir in the spaghetti sauce and tomatoes.
3. Spread 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of an 11x7 inch baking dish. Arrange 1/2 of the ravioli over the sauce. Sprinkle 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/2 of the Monterey jack cheese over the ravioli. Repeat layers, ending with the last of the sauce on top. Cover with aluminum foil.
4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top before serving.

Yield: 6 servings


Mandarin Pie

This no-bake pie is really good. It tastes just like an orange dreamsicle. The little bit of chocolate drizzled over the top is the perfect finishing touch. After all, who doesn't like dreamsicles?

1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup sour cream
2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
1 drop red food coloring (optional)
1 (8 oz) tub cool whip, thawed
1 prepared chocolate crumb crust (9 inch)
1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
1 square (1 oz) unsweetened chocolate
1 tsp. crisco

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add milk, orange juice concentrate, sour cream and food coloring. Beat until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip with a rubber spatula. Spoon half of mixture into crust. Set 8 mandarin orange slices aside for garnish. Arrange remaining oranges over filling. Top with remaining filling and garnish with reserved oranges. In microwave, heat chocolate square and crisco for 30 seconds or until melted. Stir and drizzle over finished pie. Chill pie for at least 4 hours before serving.

Source: Quick Cooking Magazine

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Orange Pull-Apart Rolls

This recipe is from Rikki Emory, whose son Toby I attended college with and grew up with in Santa Barbara. She made a bunch of pans of these rolls for a ward dinner one time. They are really good! I made these for my college roommates a few years back, and between the 5 of us we devoured the whole pan in a minute flat!

3 cans refrigerated biscuits - regular size (not "grands")
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup sugar
Zest of one orange
Juice of half an orange

Open cans of biscuits and place them vertically on edge in a greased bundt pan. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and heat until bubbly and sugar is dissolved. Pour evenly over biscuits in pan. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 325 and bake for 10 minutes longer. Turn out rolls onto plate or platter with a rim to avoid spilling sauce.

NOTE: If using a dark coated pan, reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees for each baking cycle.

Source: Rikki Emory

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mock Winger's Sauce

Have you ever been to the restaurant Winger's? Remember the delicious sauce on their wings, and in their dressings, and all over the place? Well now you can make this delicious sauce at home. It is just like the sauce and you can make it as spicy or mild as you would like it.

2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon vinegar (any kind - I use white)
2 tablespoons water

Boil the above for 2 minutes, stirring constantly

Add 1/2 cup Frank's "Red Hot" Sauce (can be found near the tabasco or possibly in the mexican food section of the supermarket).

All done! Just cook up some of your favorite breaded chicken strips, coat each piece in the sauce, and enjoy. This sauce keeps for quite some time in the fridge. When you want to use it again, just pull it out and heat it up.

Chocolate-Strawberry Punch Bowl Trifle

This layered trifle looks amazing, and it's so easy! Plus, it feeds a crowd, so it's great for huge get-togethers and potlucks.

1 Package (18 1/4 ounces) Chocolate Cake Mix
1 Quart fresh whole strawberries
1 carton (15 ounces) strawberry glaze
2 cartons (12 ounces each) Cool Whip, thawed, divided
1 cup chocolate frosting
Shaved Chocolate (for garnish, optional)

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using a 9x13 pan. Cool cake completely on wire rack.
Set aside five strawberries for garnish. Slice remaining strawberries. Cut cake into 1-inch cubes. Place half of the cake cubes in a 6-quart glass punch bowl. Top with half of the sliced strawberries; drizzle with half of the strawberry glaze. Spread with 3-1/2 cups Cool Whip.
In a microwave safe bowl, heat frosting on high for 20-30 seconds or until pourable, stirring often; cool slightly. Drizzle half over the Cool Whip layer. Repeat layers of cake, berries, glaze, Cool Whip and frosting. Top with remaining Cool Whip. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Garnish with shaved chocolate and reserved strawberries.
YIELD: 24-28 servings

Source: Quick Cooking Magazine

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Craisins Salad

This is one of the best salads that we have ever had. It is certain to become a new favorite. We make it all the time for almost any function that we need to bring food to. It makes a ton, so when we are making it for just us and a few others, I always half the recipe.

1 head red leaf lettuce
1 head green leaf lettuce
1 head iceberg lettuce
1 (8-ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (8-ounce) package shredded Parmesan cheese
1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (8-ounce) package Craisins
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 recipe Craisins Salad Dressing (see below)

Break red and green leaf lettuce into pieces. Shred iceberg lettuce. Toss together with the other ingredients just before serving. Pass dressing with salad.


1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons mustard
1 cup salad oil

In blender mix all ingredients, except oil. Add oil and blend again.

Source: The Essential Mormon Cookbook

Ice Cream Pretzel Cake

This cake is awesome, especially for you salty-and-sweet people! The best part is that you can make this cake ahead of time, keeep it in the freezer, and just pull it out when you need it! What could be better?

A little tip for the crust, it calls for 1-1/4 cups pretzel crumbs, and that equals about 2 cups mini twist pretzels placed in a plastic bag and crushed with a rolling pin. You can use regular pretzels, sticks, nuggets, or whatever you have on hand, but the amount you need to start with may vary depending on the pretzels' shape. So, be sure to measure the crumbs before making the crust.

1-1/4 cups crushed pretzels
6 tablespoons cold butter
3/4 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
2 packages (7-1/2 ounces each) Chocolate covered miniature pretzels
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping

Place crushed pretzels in a small bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto the bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Cover and freeze for at least 30 minutes. Sperad fudge topping over crust; cover and freeze.
Set aside 16 chocolate-covered pretzels for garnish. Place remaining pretzels in a food processor; cover and process until crumbly. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in ice cream. Spread ice cream mixture over fudge topping. Drizzle with caramel topping. Garnish around edges with reserved pretzels. Cover and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight. Yield: 16 servings.

Source: Quick Cooking Magazine

Monday, October 19, 2009

Buttery Crescents

This is a really great crescent roll recipe. It is one of the best that I have made and eaten. I am excited to make them for Thanksgiving dinner this year.

2 packages (1/4 ounces each) active dry yeast
2 cups warm milk (110 to 115 degrees)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 1/2 to 7 cups all purpose flour, divided
additional melted butter or margarine, optional

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add eggs, butter, sugar, salt and 4 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down and divide in thirds. Roll each portion into a 12-inch circle, cut each circle into 12 wedges. Roll up wedges from the wide end and place with pointed end down on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with butter if desired.

Yield: 3 dozen

Pineapple Cake

I had this recipe for the first time at my Sister's house. Her mother in law made this cake. It's awesome! My dad makes it all the time, and it's one of his favorite cakes, and mine as well. It's similar in texture to carrot cake, but it has sweet pineapple instead of the carrots and raisins.


2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple and juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla

Combine all cake ingredients on high in mixer for 3 minutes. Pour into greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350. Beat frosting ingredients together and spread on cooled cake.

Source: Ruth Harper

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chocolate Raspberry Pound Cake

This is the most moist chocolate cake I have ever tried! It totally tastes like something Grandma would make. I am bummed, however, beause the sweetened frozen raspberries in syrup for the raspberry cream are getting difficult to find here in Pocatello. Hopefully you will have better luck finding it. It usually comes in a little 10 oz. tub in the frozen fruit section of grocery stores. For a while, I could only find it at Albertson's. Now they don't even carry it anymore. Good thing I still have a few tubs left in our freezer! If you can't find the raspberries, feel free to experiment around and top these awesome cake slices with whatever your little heart desires!!


1 Jar (10 Ounces) seedless blackberry or black raspberry spreadable fruit, divided
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup baking cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
Powdered sugar (optional-but recommended!)
Fresh raspberries and/or blackberries (optional-but recommended!)


1 package or tub (10 ounces) frozen sweetened raspberries (in syrup), thawed
1 carton (8 ounces) cool whip, thawed

Place ¾ cup of spreadable fruit in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 40-60 seconds or until melted; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Combine sour cream and melted fruit spread; add to creamed mixture alternately with dry ingredients. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube (bundt) pan. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Place remaining spreadable fruit in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 20-30 seconds or until melted. Brush over warm cake. Cool. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. For raspberry cream, puree raspberries in a blender or food processor; strain and discard seeds. Fold in the whipped topping. Serve with the cake. Garnish each slice or cake with the raspberry cream and fresh berries, if desired.

Yield: approx. 10-12 servings

Source: Quick Cooking Magazine.

Crispy Barbecue Chicken Melts

So, this is probably the most-made dinner recipe of all time at our house. At one point, we were having it at least once a week. Lilly absolutely INHALES this chicken! It's incredibly easy, crispy, gooey, and awesome!

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup Bisquick
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup milk
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb.)
1/4 cup barbecue sauce (or more if you LOVE sauce like we do!)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or, again, more if you like more)

Heat oven to 425. in a 9x13 pan, place butter. Heat in oven for 2 to 3 minutes or until melted. In a shallow dish, stir Bisquick and pepper. Pour milk into small bowl. Coat chicken with Bisquick mixture, then dip into milk, then coat again with Bisquick mixture. Place chicken in pan with melted butter. Bake chicken uncovered about 30 minutes until thoroughly cooked and juices run clear.
Top each chicken breast evenly with barbecue sauce and then with cheese. Return to oven for 1 to 2 minutes until cheese is melted.


Homemade Oreo Cookies

This is the best recipe ever! We love these cookies and make them quite often.


1 devil's food cake mix
1/2 c. shortening
2 eggs

Mix the above ingredients together. Roll the dough into dime-sized balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bale at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool cookies.


8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. butter (or 4 tablespoons)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 to 4 c. powdered sugar

Mix all of the frosting ingredients until smooth. Frost BACKS of cookies and place together to make sandwich cookie.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Glazed Lemon Cake

Also known as "7up cake", this light, moist lemony cake is really good. And, the best part is that it starts with a cake mix. Can't get much easier!

1 pkg White cake mix
1 3.4 oz package instant lemon pudding mix
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 cup 7up (or any other lemon-lime soda)

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Combine cake mix, pudding, oil and eggs in mixing bowl. Slowly beat in 7up. Pour into greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 40-45 mins. Cool Slightly. Combine glaze ingredients. Spread over cake while still warm.

Enjoy! Aaron

Source: Quick Cooking Magazine

Funeral Potatoes

Seeing as this will someday be a collection of recipes for our kids, we decided to post some recipes that many of you may already know. Still we love this recipe and it is one of our favorite potato recipes.

6-8 medium to large potatoes or 1 (32-ounce) bag frozen shredded hash browns
2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup chopped green onions
2 cups crushed corn flakes
2 tablespoons butter, melted

boil potatoes for 30 minutes, or until just tender. Cool and peel potatoes, then grate into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish (or put hash browns into the baking dish). In a separate bowl combine soup concentrate, sour cream, cheese, the 1/2 cup melted butter, and the green onions. Gently blend into potatoes. Combine crushed corn flakes and the 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Makes 12 servings

Source: The Essential Mormon Cookbook

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Better than any restaurant spanish rice"

This recipe is from Rochelle Ricks, who grew up near me in Santa Barbara. I took this recipe from an old Santa Barbara 1st ward cookbook, which was published back in 1998 when my mom was Relief Society President. It is an awesome recipe, and easy! It is excellent served with tacos, enchiladas, even burgers! We always make it when Heather makes fajitas, which, by happenstance, we are having tonight! :-)

1 c. uncooked regular long-grain white rice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 small chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped green bell pepper
1 (15 oz.) can stewed tomatoes or tomato sauce (I prefer to use a 14.5 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes in rich juice. I like the consistency better.)
2 c. water
1 beef boullion cube
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper

In a skillet, saute rice in oil until lightly browned. Add onion and bell pepper. Saute until onion is transparent. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. 4 to 6 servings.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

TIP: Our dinner roll reheating secret

Ok, so the other night I found a ziploc bag in the freezer of from-scratch crescent rolls that Heather made several months ago. I wanted to heat them up to go with our soup, but who likes the flavor of "freezer burnt" leftover rolls? Suddenly I remember a tip that my Dad SWEARS by.
My Dad used to buy these rolls from Vior's Italian Bakery in Santa Barbara by the gross. We ate them all the time, and we always had these rolls in the freezer. To reheat them and give them that fresh baked taste, he would take a paper grocery bag, put as many rolls as he wanted to warm in it, roll the bag down to close it, and douse the bag with water (just a few quick passes under the faucet.) He then put the bag into a 350 oven for 10-15 minutes. The rolls would be nice and soft on the inside and lightly crispy on the outside. The rolls taste totally fresh baked. AMAZING!
So, the next time you make a ton of dinner rolls such as at Thanksgiving, freeze them and remember this tip to reheat them months later for that fresh baked taste!!

One more thing to remember, try not to let the bag touch the sides, top or bottom of the oven. . . you don't want it to catch fire. That's what the water is designed to help prevent, but still, be careful!!! :-)

Doritos Chicken Casserole

Ok, so when I first watched Heather make this recipe when we were newly married, I was TOTALLY weirded out! It looked kinda gross, but the flavor was awesome! In fact, when Lilly was just a baby and was starting solids, this was one of the first foods we ground up for her in the baby food grinder. She LOOOOVED it. She ate two bowlfuls! Anyhow, it looks weird but it's yummy, and a great way to use up leftover chicken!

3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 cup smashed doritos (any flavor, but we like "Nacho Cheesier")
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 small can chopped olives
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese (Cheddar cheese or whatever you have on hand also works great!)

Mix all ingredients in a casserole dish
Top with extra cheese and some parmesan Cheese, if desired

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Mock Sourdough Bread (Bread Machine)

This bread has an AWESOME sourdough taste, but you don't need to bother with a complicated, time-consuming starter. We make it in our bread machine ALL the time, especially when we have soup, which is often. I could eat soup 3 meals a day!!!

2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

In bread machine pan, place all ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. (usually liquids first, then dry ingredients, ending with yeast last). Select basic bread setting on machine. Choose crust color and loaf size if available. Bake according to bread machine directions (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing, and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of either flour or water if needed.)

Note: if your bread machine has a time-delay feature, it's recommended that you don't use it, because the sour cream may spoil if it sits too long unrefrigerated in the machine.

Yield: 1 loaf (1 1/2 pounds).

Enjoy! Aaron

Source: Quick Cooking Magazine

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Harvest Hamburger Soup

We had this soup for dinner tonight with whole wheat dinner rolls from dough I made in the bread machine. . . easy and awesome as always! The nice thing about this soup is you just stir everything together and just simmer away. Not a very complicated recipe! (Except some slicing and dicing). Another awesome part of this recipe is that we make it to use up our home canned tomatoes and corn. All the fresh produce you really need is onion, potatoes and some carrots! Enjoy!

1 pound ground beef
1/2 of an onion, chopped
2 (10.5 ounce) cans beef consomme
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 1 (12 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh corn or 1 (11 ounce) can corn
2 carrots, peeled and sliced 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
grated cheese of your choice (mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, etc.)

Brown ground beef and onion in soup pot. Stir in rest of ingredients except cheese. Simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender. Add grated cheese to invividual serving bowls.

(approximately 6 servings.)

Source: The Essential Mormon Cookbook

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cheesy O'Brien Hashbrown Bake

This breakfast casserole is AWESOME! I always make it when we have family in town staying over. To make prep a little easier in the morning, I always chop and cook my bacon the night before, and keep it in a baggie in the fridge. It's one less thing to do (and dish to wash) to assemble the casserole. Enjoy!

1 pkg. (28 oz) Frozen O'Brien Potatoes
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cheddar cheese soup, Undiluted
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
12 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tbsp. butter
2 Cups Cheddar Cheese

Prepare hash browns according to package directions. Sprinkle with pepper and garlic salt. Transfer to a 9x13 baking dish and top with soup. Set aside 1/2 cup bacon. Sprinkle remaining bacon over soup. Scramble eggs in a skillet with butter until almost set (eggs should be just slightly runny, don't overcook.) Spoon eggs over casserole. Sprinkle with cheese and reserved bacon. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 until bubbly and heated through.

Source: Taste of Home

Pumpkin Cheese Bread

I forget what cookbook I found this recipe in. . . but it's another awesome fall favorite of mine!

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1 pkg. (8 oz) Cream Cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 can (16 oz) pumpkin
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter, cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in pumpkin. Add combined dry ingredients, mixing just until moistened. Stir in pecans or walnuts. Pour evenly into two greased and floured 9x5-inch loaf pans. Bake one hour or until the loaves pass the toothpick test. Cool 5 minutes, remove from pans, cool.

To Freeze loaves: Cool loaves completely, wrap securely in plastic wrap. Freeze up to 1 month. Thaw, wrapped, at room temperature for 12 hours.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Saucy Meatballs

For a shortcut, try using frozen meatballs instead of making your own meatballs from scratch, but the homemmade meatballs are soooo good, and actually quite easy!

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup soft breadcrumbs (I just use dry breadcrumbs from a can. We usually have italian seasoned bread crumbs on hand. They work great!)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, plus a little leftover bacon grease (doesn't everyone save theirs? :-) )
3 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 8 oz. carton sour cream (1 cup)
Hot cooked rice or noodles

Combine first 8 ingredients, mixing well; shape into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. Brown in the 2 tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet. Once cooked, remove meatballs and keep warm, reserving drippings in pan. Add flour and 1/2 tsp pepper to drippings in pan. Mix well. Gradually add broth, stirring until smooth. Cook over medium heat 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in sour cream and add meatballs back to skillet. cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until heated through. Serve over the hot rice or noodles.

4 servings.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cheeseburger Soup

Awesome soup for a cold winter day! To speed along prep at dinner time, Heather always chops the veggies in the morning, puts them in a ziploc bag and all she has to do at dinner time is dump them in the pot! We always eat this soup with cheese garlic biscuits (recipe on the bisquick box) and a fresh salad.

1 lb. ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
4 tbsp. butter or margarine, divided
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups diced peeled potatoes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces process american cheese, cubed (velveeta)
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. pepper

Brown ground beef in soup pot. Drain and set aside. In the same pan, saute onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until veggies are tender, about 10 mins. Add broth, potatoes, and beef. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour, cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup and bring to boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts, remove from heat.

Yield : 8 servings.

Source: Taste of Home