Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Swoop Bread

This is the yummiest and quickest whole wheat bread!

4 c. wheat flour
2 c. white flour (I typically use all wheat)
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. salt

Mix together all dry ingredients then in a separate large bowl mix:

3½ c. milk
½ c. vinegar
2 tsp. baking soda

Whisk together until light and foamy then add dry ingredients. Mix well. Pour into two bread pans and bake at 350° for 1 hour.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Curry Pumpkin Soup

This is one of my favorite soups for fall and winter. It's always a hit at baby and bridal showers too! It has a slight hint of curry, and you would never guess the ingredients include pumpkin!

1 large onion
1 lb mushrooms, chopped small
1/2 cup butter

Add: 1/3 cup flour

Cook these a little.

Add & Boil for 20 minutes:
2 quarts chicken stock (broth)
2 cups canned pumpkin

Add when serving:
2 cups whipping cream
2 tsp honey
1-2 tsp curry
salt & pepper

Heat until warm, don't boil.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fruit Pizza

This is absolutely delicious! We also served this tonight at our Young Women Activity! The girls loved it!!! Enjoy!

18oz. pkg. refrigerator sugar "slice and bake" cookies
8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
4 1/2 oz. pkg. cool whip
Variety of fruits that are in season (i.e strawberries, grapes, bananas, kiwi, watermellon, pineapple, raspberries, etc.)

Spread cookie dough on lightly greased pizza pan. Bake 10-12 mintues at 35o degrees. Blend cream cheese and cool whip until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture over completely cooled crust. Arrange fruit all over the top of the cream cheese spread.

Ingredients for Sauce:
1/2 cup sugar
dash of salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup water

Stir together sugar, salt, and cornstarch in small sauce pan. Gradually stir in orange juice, lemon juice, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils for one minute. Remove from heat and poor over Fruit and cookie dough crust.

****This will also work in a 9x13 pan. If you want to make this in an 11x15 pan then double all the ingredients including the sauce. The 11x15 pan size serves 20-22 people.

Peanut Butter Brownie Pizza

This was a big hit tonight at our Daddy/Daughter Young Women's Activity! Super Easy and delicious!!!!

Ingredients Needed:
1 package fudge brown mix (plus ingredients to make brownies)
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1.6 ounces of Reese Peanut Butter Chips
2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit Large Round Pizza Stone; Prepare brownie mix according to package directions in bowl. Pour brownie batter onto parchment paper, spreading evenly. Bake 15-18 minutes or until brownie is set. (Do not overbake.) Cool Completely!

2. Mix cream cheese, brown sugar, and peanut butter until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture over brownie to within 1/2 inch of edge.

3. Chop Reeses Peanut Butter Chips and sprinkle over cream cheese mixture.

4. Microwave chocolate with oil, uncovered on high for 1 1/2 minutes. Stirring 1 minute. Drizzle over pizza and then serve!!! Makes approximately 16 servings.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Vegetarian Anyone?

I need some new vegetarian meal ideas.
We are trying to eat less meat, and every so often I am stumped when dinner rolls around.
So to prevent my from feeding my family kidney beans strait from the can throw out a few of your favorites!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

any breakfast ideas???

I am looking for ideas for what to feed a growing toddler for breakfast. I usually make the eggs, toast, waffles...which fills him up, but I would like to change things up a bit. Before I would give him cereal ...but before I knew it he was asking for a snack.
Any ideas would be great...thanks!

Pumpkin Dessert

This is an all time favorite of our family! Try it, you won't be disappointed!

1 2/3 cups evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon cloves
2 eggs
16 oz. can solid pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 box spice cake mix

Mix together all the ingredients EXCEPT the spice cake mix. Pour mixture into a 9x13 greased cake pan. Sprinkle the spice cake mix on top. Pour 1-2 cubes melted butter on top of cake mix. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45-50 minutes. Serve warm with cool whip or whip cream.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Pumpkin Bars

These pumpkin bars are our favorite cold weather dessert. They are so yummy and we always have to give them away or else they will disappear at our house!

Pumpkin Bars

4 eggs
3/4 c. oil (can substitute applesauce for less calories and it's great too)
2 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 1/2 C sugar
1 15 oz can of pumpkin
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon

Beat all together, spread into a sheet cake pan. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Cool at least 10 min and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 C butter or margarine
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla

Beat until smooth, add powdered sugar until it's a spreading consistency. Add a little milk if needed.

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

I think this is one of the best spaghetti and meatballs recipe I have ever had. Every time I make it, people ask for the recipe.

4 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large egg
1/3 cup milk
1 white onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 pound ground turkey
1 pound spaghetti
Make the Sauce: In a large nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, and cook, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, oregano, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes.
Make the meatballs: In a large bowl, whisk together egg, milk, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with a fork. Stir in onion, breadcrumbs, cheese, and parsley. Add turkey, mixing until combined. Form into 1 1/2-inch balls.
Add meatballs to skillet, spooning sauce over to coat. Cover, and cook over medium heat until meatballs are just cooked through, about 8 minutes.
While meatballs are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, and cook until al dente, following package instructions, about 12 minutes. Drain pasta, and toss with remaining tablespoon oil.
Add spaghetti to skillet, and toss to coat evenly. Serve with additional cheese, if desired.
Generously Serves 4

Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls take a little while to make, but are really yummy!

  • 1 1/2 packages (about 3 1/4 tsp) dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk (room temperature)
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 4-5 cups sifted flour
  • melted butter
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon

Vanilla Frosting:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbs melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 Tbs milk or cream

Add the warm water to the yeast and soak 10 mins. Scald milk (remove from heat just as the bubbles start to form around the edge of the milk); pour over the shortening. Add sugar and salt and cool to tepid. Add the dissolved yeast and beaten egg. Add 4 cups flour, adding one at a time, beating after each addition. Dough should be soft yet firm enough to handle. Knead on floured board until elastic and smooth. Avoid too much flour. Turn dough into well oiled bowl. Let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

Press dough down and divide into workable size. Roll dough out into a rectangle. Slather with melted butter. Layer with a generous thick layer of brown sugar. Sprinkle on cinnamon as desired. Roll up jellyroll fashion. Using scissors or a piece of string, cut off slices about 1- 1 1/2 inches thick. Place slices in an 8 or 9 inch round greased cake pan. Place one slice in the middle and other slices around it. Press rolls down to even out and fill pan. Let rise until rolls fill the pan generously (about 1 hour).

Bake in a 350 degree oven about 15-20 mins. I don't like to preheat the oven because I think the cook better when they can gradually cook as the temperature rises. Make sure not to over bake the rolls. Pull them out just as they are starting to turn light golden brown and let them sit in the pan on a rack for a few minutes so they can continue to cook. After a few minutes of setting, remove from the pan by inverting them onto a plate and then tip over onto another plate to bring them upright again.

For the frosting: In a medium bowl, place sugar, butter and vanilla. Then stir in enough milk or cream to reach a thick, hardly-able to stir consistency. Spread over warm rolls as soon as they are placed on a plate to let the frosting melt and run into the rolls.

Pesto Mashed Potatoes

2 1/2 pound baking potatoes
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup pesto sauce
salt and white pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Peel potatles and cut into large diced pieces. Add potatoes to boiling water, cook until tender (15-20 minutes) and drain. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher. Stir in butter, sour cream and pesto sauce. Season with salt and white pepper.

If you love pesto, these are the potatoes for you!

Basil Tomato Soup

5 Strips Bacon
1 Rib Celery, Chopped
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
1 Carrot, Peeled and Diced
1 Red Pepper, Seeded and Diced
1 Green Pepper, Seeded and Diced
6 Fresh Basil Leaves, Chipped (Divided)
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 28 oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes
2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
1 Cup Half and Half

In large soup pot, cook bacon. Drain all but 1 tablespoon drippings. Add celery, onion and carrot and cook 2 minutes. Add peppers, half of the basil and garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add bouillon cues and stir to dissolve. Transfer soup to blender and puree in batches, then return to soup pot. Add half and half and remaining basil. Simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Serve with toasted garlic or cheesy bread.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Marinated Pork- Like Cafe Rio

So, I think that this pork taste pretty close to the pork in the pork salad from Cafe Rio. I love Cafe Rio and I loved this dish. It is pretty easy too! I hope you all like it!

3 lbs. Pork Tenderloin
16 oz. can chunky salsa
2 cups brown sugar
16 oz. Coca Cola

Cover the meat half way with water in a crock-pot and cook on high for 5 hours.

Then mix together the salsa, brown sugar, and coca cola.

Dump the water out of the crock pot after the 5 hours and add the above mixture. Cook for 3 more hours on high!

Yummy Mummy Halloween Cupcakes

I made these for a YW activity, and they were so fun for Halloween! In all, they took about 2 hours.

1. Make cupcakes
(I used a Devil's Food Cake mix. One box makes 2 doz cupcakes.)

2. Frost cupcakes with chocolate frosting.
(I used the store-bought. It tastes good, and you are not going to see it, so don't spend the time with homeade buttercream frosting! One can will frost 2 doz cupcakes.)

3. Make Buttercream frosting (1 batch per 2 doz cupcakes.)

Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1 cup solid white vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon Clear Vanilla Extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approx. 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons milk or water
  • Yield: 3 cups icing.
Frosting Directions:

    • Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer.
    • Add vanilla.
    • Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed.
    • Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
    • Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
    • Keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use for long periods of time.
    • Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks.
    • Rewhip before using.
    4. For Mummy's Bandages, pipe long bands using smooth side of Basketweave Decorating Tip 47. Leave a small gap in center for eyes. (If you don't have a cake decorating bag, large ziploc bags will also work!)

    5. For eyes, tint 1/4 cup white icing with Golden Yellow Icing Color and pipe two balls in center gap using Round Decorating Tip 8. Use a small amount of icing tinted with Black Icing Color to pipe pupils with Round Decorating Tip


    Monday, October 22, 2007

    Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

    I came across this recipe a while back, and it's absolutely delightful. Every time I have made it, people have asked me for the recipe.

    2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
    1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
    1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
    1 (18-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
    1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional

    Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layered in a punch bowl.

    Sunday, October 21, 2007

    Kidney Bean Stew

    As Fall is here I'm always looking for healthy comfort food recipes. We got this recipe courtesy of Chad's Grandpa Langer and it is a Carlos family favorite! From reading the ingredients it doesn't sound that good, but I promise it is!

    You basically want an equal amount of each of the ingredients below:

    1 lb. lean ground beef, browned
    1 pkg baby carrots, sliced in circles
    3-4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
    2 cans kidney beans - juice included, do not drain
    1-2 onions, chopped
    salt and pepper to taste

    Combine all the ingredients in a crock pot and cook for 8 hours. I will be cooked after a few hours but it gets better the longer you leave it in. Towards the end of the cooking time it will get mushy and make it's own "gravy". This is so yummy with soda crackers and hot bread!

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    Chocolate Eclair Pie

    Once in a while it's fun to throw out all diet consciousness and make a yummy, indulgent dessert. My friend Carolyn Wright did that at a party she hosted last week. Everyone there enjoyed this delectable dessert. Hope you enjoy it too!

    Graham Crackers - roughly 1 to 3 packs from box
    2 boxes (3 or 4 oz.) instant french vanilla pudding
    8 oz. Cool Whip
    3 1/2 cups whole milk

    4 to 6 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate
    3 Tbsp. milk
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
    3 Tbsp. melted butter
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

    Very lightly grease a 9x13 inch glass Pyrex pan with butter. In mixing bowl, beat the 2 packages of pudding with the 3 1/2 cups of whole milk about 4 to 5 minutes. Fold into the pudding mixture the container of Cool Whip, smoothing out all lumps.

    Begin by layering bottom of greased 9x13 pan with the graham crackers (keep them in the biggest sections possible, and break into little sections to fit as needed to fill in the full bottom of pan). Spread a portion of the pudding/Cool Whip mixture on top of graham crackers just enough to cover completely. Repeat with another layer of crackers, then pudding mixture, then crackers until you have about four layers coming to just under the top of the pan. Make sure that the top (last) layer is one of graham crackers.

    Chocolate Topping: Melt chocolate squares and butter in a microwave until melted, but not boiling. Check and stir very often as to prevent burning or boiling. Remove from microwave and add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tablespoon of corn syrup. Mix well. Gradually add, alternating the powdered sugar and milk, beating well between each addition. Combine ingredients until you have a smooth glaze. Pour over graham cracker mixture and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours. To serve, cut into squares.

    Thursday, October 11, 2007

    Glazed Meatloaf

    About twice a year I get the hankering for meatloaf. I found this recipe and we really enjoyed it. Mia even ate it and she usually won't eat meat.

    1/2 cup ketchup
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    1 teaspoon dry mustard

    1 pound lean ground beef (I prefer "meatloaf mix" which is beef, pork & veal, I also assume you could use ground turkey but haven't tried it)
    1.5 slices bread, shredded
    1/2 cup minced onion
    1 egg, beaten
    1/2 cube beef bouillon, crumbled (or add a little worchester & garlic if you don't have bouillon on hand)
    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    2. In a small bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, lemon juice and dry mustard until smooth.
    3. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, shredded bread, onion, egg, bouillon, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of the ketchup mixture until well mixed. Form into a loaf pan.
    4. Bake 30 minutes. Pour off fat. Pour reserved ketchup mixture over loaf. Bake 10 minutes more.


    So I really like hummus but it's expensive to buy. I found a good basic recipe that you can use to add different flavors to and it's really cheap to make! Use this recipe and try different renditions by adding: curry, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, spices, etc...

    2 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained
    1/3 cup tahini (in the Mediterranean food isle, it's essentially sesame seed paste)
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 cloves garlic, halved
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/4 water (add to desired consistency)
    1. Place the garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl.
    2. Sprinkle with paprika, parsley or your favorite spice.

    Tuesday, October 9, 2007

    Yummy Salsa

    I have a prolific tomato plant. To date I have picked over 75 huge tomatoes from this one plant and there are more to be picked. A friend suggested that I use some of the tomatoes to make his salsa recipe. I tried it and absolutely love it. It's so yummy I want to eat it by the spoonfuls and lick the plate when I'm done!

    4 large ripe tomatoes, bur firm, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
    1 large red onion, 3" to 4" in diameter, dice into 1/4 inch cubes
    1 cup frozen corn
    3 cloves garlic, finely minced
    3 green onions, sliced using the entire stalk
    2-4.5 ounce can of chopped green chilies (mild or hot)
    1-4 to 6 ounce can of tomato paste
    1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped (about 2/3 of bunch)
    1/2 cup lemon juice (REAL lemon is okay)
    1/4 cup cider vinegar
    2/3 cup sugar
    2.5 Tablespoon chili powder
    1/2 Tablespoon sea salt
    1/3 Tablespoon freshly ground pepper
    1/2 Tablespoon dried parsley
    1/4 cup olive oil

    Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Fold mixture gently until all the tomato paste is dissolved evenly. Makes 10 to 12 cups of salsa.

    Adjust to taste. If you like heat, use chopped jalepenos instead of the mild green chilies. You can also add 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes or 1.5 Tablespoons of Tabsco Sauce.

    It should keep in the fridge for a week or freeze to use later.

    Monday, October 8, 2007

    Anasazi Chicken Enchiladas

    Here's another really good recipe. Some stirring involved, but a total winner in our house!

    1 1/4 pounds diced chicken breasts
    1/2 cup diced tomato
    1 teaspoon diced garlic
    1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
    4 ounces diced green chiles
    Pinch ground cumin
    1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
    2 tablespoons cream cheese
    1/4 cup sour cream
    1/4 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
    8 8-inch corn tortillas
    2 1/2 cups Rosarita enchilada sauce or similar brand (not the really cheap stuff, though)
    1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    1/2 cup plain yogurt for garnish

    1. Place diced chicken breast in a half-gallon pot. Add tomato, garlic, onion, chiles, cumin, and the bouillon, stirring constantly on low heat until the chicken is cooked, about 20 minutes.
    2. Add cream cheese, sour cream and pepperjack cheese, stirring constantly until the pepperjack has melted.
    3. Roll 6 tablespoons (5/8 cup) of the filling into each of the 8 corn tortillas and place in a 9x13- inch casserole dish; smother them with the enchilada sauce (you may have some left over) and top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
    4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese melts and casserole is hot. Remove from the oven and drizzle with yogurt. Serve with fresh chopped tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, rice and beans.

    Tortilla Soup

    6 tablespoons cooking oil
    8 6-inch tortillas, halved and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch strips
    1 onion, chopped
    4 large cloves garlic, smashed
    1 tablespoon paprika
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground coriander
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 1/2 quarts canned low-sodium chicken broth
    3 cups canned crushed tomatoes (one 28 oz. can)
    2 bay leaves
    2 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
    1 3/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4 in pieces
    1 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch dice
    1/4 pound cheddar, grated
    Lime wedges for serving

    1. In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over moderately high heat.
    2. Add half the tortilla strips and cook, stirring, until pale golden, about one minute.
    3. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips.
    4. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion, garlic and spices; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
    5. Add the broth, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt, cilantro leaves (if using), and a third of the tortilla strips. Bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes; remove the bay leaves.
    6. In a blender, puree the soup in batches; pour it back into the pot.
    7. Add the chicken, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the avocado.
    8. To serve, put the remaining tortilla strips in bowls, top with cheese and pour in the soup.
    9. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro (if using), and serve with the lime wedges.

    This is a recipe Dillon's mom gave me. It takes a little time to make, but I promise, it's SO WORTH IT! It's so yummy!!!

    Sunday, October 7, 2007

    Sweet Corn and Crab Chowder

    This recipes is worth the work. It does dirty a number of pans but it makes a really delicious brothy chowder. You can substitue shrimp or lobster for the crab or leave out the seafood and enjoy a corn chowder. Whatever you do don't use fake crab meat! (I got this recipe from the famous Chicago chef, Charlie Trotter)

    10 ears of sweet corn
    2 bay leaves
    4 qts water
    Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
    1 cup heavy whipping cream
    8 oz. bacon
    1 small yellow onion, chopped
    1 large potato, peeled and diced
    12 oz. crab meat, cooked
    2 T. chopped fresh chives (optional)

    Cut off the kernels from the cob, reserving both the kernels and the cob. Place the cobs, bay leaves and water into a stock pot and simmer for 1 hour. Strain through a fine sieve and through away the solids. Season the broth with salt and pepper.

    Chowder base:
    Put half of the corn kernels into a saucepan with the cream and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cream is reduced to 2/3 cup. Put in blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

    Cook the bacon in frying pan until the fat is translucent. Add the onion, potato and the rest of the corn. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Add the crab and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

    Put the corn puree into a large dutch oven or saucepan and add the corn broth 1 cup at a time until the chowder has the desired consistency. (A chef once told me that in the West, where they don't really understand chowders, they make it too thick. In the East, the home of chowder, they make it brothy.) Add the bacon mixture and cook for 5 minutes or until warm. Add more broth if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

    Serve in bowls topped with fresh chives, if desired.

    Friday, October 5, 2007

    Creme Brulee French Toast

    This recipe is courtesy of Chad's Mom Brenda. (a great cook) We love making this when people come over--also a great one for Conference Weekend!

    bottom layer:
    1 stick butter
    1 C brown sugar
    2 T corn syrup

    1 loaf french bread (the fluffy kind, not the hard baguette)

    top layer:
    1 1/2 C half & half (can use the fat free)
    5 eggs
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 29 oz. can of peach slices
    2+ T cinnamon sugar

    Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup into the melted butter until smooth. Don't overcook or it will become hard when baked. Pour into a 9x13 inch pan.

    Slice french bread into 1-2 inch slices. Place on top of the melted butter. Squish in as many pieces as possible, but only make one layer. You should be able to do almost the whole loaf of bread.

    Beat eggs, half & half, vanilla and salt. Pour over bread. Placed drained peach slices on top & sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

    Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes. (You may have to bake it a touch longer if you've used the fat free half and half) Serve with fresh whipped cream or squirty whipped cream. SOOO yummy!

    Tuesday, October 2, 2007

    Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Red Peppers

    This is so yummy!! I added a little more garlic, and even the kids ate it.

    Chives work particularly well with the asparagus and peppers, but you can substitute fresh mint, parsley, or basil.

    Serves 6 to 8
    1 1/2 pounds asparagus , tough ends trimmed
    3 large red bell peppers , cored, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch wedges
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil , plus more to toss with vegetables

    Table salt and ground black pepper
    1/4 cup lemon juice from 2 lemons
    1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    1 medium clove garlic , minced or put through garlic press
    1 pound short, bite-size pasta such as fusilli, farfalle, or orecchiette
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (see note above)
    1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot over high heat. Meanwhile, toss asparagus and peppers with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Either grill asparagus until tender, and streaked with light grill marks, 5 to 7 minutes, or roast in a 425-degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness, shaking pan once halfway through the cooking time. Either grill peppers, using grill basket if you have one, until tender and lightly charred, about 8 minutes, or roast in 425-degree oven until tender and lightly browned, 15 to 17 minutes; cool to room temperature.

    2. Whisk lemon juice and zest, 3/4 teaspoon salt, garlic, and ground black pepper to taste in large bowl; whisk in 3/4 cup oil in slow, steady stream until smooth.

    3. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water. Cook until pasta is al dente and drain. Whisk dressing again to blend; add hot pasta, cooled asparagus, peppers, chives, and grated Parmesan cheese; toss to mix thoroughly. Cool to room temperature, adjust seasonings, and serve. (Can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 1 day; return to room temperature before serving.)

    Thursday, September 27, 2007

    French Peasant Bread

    1 Package Dry Yeast

    2 Cups Warm Water

    1 Tablespoon Sugar

    2 Teaspoons Salt

    4 Cups Flour


    Corn Meal

    Melted Butter

    Place yeast, water, sugar and salt in warm bowl and stir until dissolved. Add flour and stir until blended. Do no knead. Cover and let rise one hour or until doubled in size. Flour hands, remove dough from the bowl and place in 2 rounds on an oiled cookie sheet sprinkled with corn meal. Let rise an additional hour. Brush the top with melted butter and bake at 425 degrees for 10 mintues. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and cook an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush again with butter. Serve warm.

    This bread is so easy to make and goes very well with pasta dishes!

    Thursday, September 20, 2007

    Sugar-Free Panna Cotta with Berry Reduction

    Sugar-Free Panna Cotta with Berry Reduction
    By Brenda Carlos

    This is an elegant dessert without the sugar. It does have calories though from the cream and sour cream. It works for anyone following the Atkins Diet. I've served it a number of elegant events and everyone loves it.

    Heavy cream 2 cups
    Unflavored gelatin 1 envelope
    Sour cream 1 pint
    “Equal” 16 pkgs.
    Vanilla 1 tbsp.
    Nutmeg As needed

    Sprinkle the gelatin on top of the heavy cream and let stand for 2 minutes. Heat slowly over low heat, whisking some for 5 minutes. Remove the skim that has formed. Add the sour cream, “Equal” and vanilla. Mix well and pour into individual serving bowls (ramekins) and chill for at least 3 hours.

    Fresh Raspberries 1 pt.
    Mix 2/3 of the berries with 2 pgs of “Equal” and crush.

    To Serve
    Drizzle a little of the reduction over the dessert add a few fresh raspberries and a dollop of freshly made whipped cream

    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    Pecan Coffee Cake

    This is a fabulous new recipe I just discovered & modified a bit. I took it to a baby shower and it was a big hit. Totally worth the calories if you need a good brunch food!

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 1 cup sour cream (lite works fine but I wouldn't recommend fat free)
    • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or 2 t vanilla and 1 t almond)

    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 1/4 cup chopped pecans
    • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
    2. In a large bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sour cream, then beat in sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. By hand, fold in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Spread 1/2 the batter into prepared pan.
    3. To make the Pecan Topping: In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Stir in melted butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over cake batter in pan & top w/half the topping. Top with rest of batter and rest of topping.
    4. Bake in a 9x13 or bundt pan for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before serving.

    Friday, September 14, 2007

    Baked Brie

    This is a great appetizer!! Serve with different types of crackers.

    1 tube of refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls.
    1 round of Brie Cheese
    Raspberry Jam, or other jam
    Brown Sugar
    1/4 cup Maple Syrup

    Preheat oven to 350.

    On a non-stick cookie sheet, lay out the crescent rolls - in a circle with the tips pointed out. Put Brie on top. Spread Jam on Brie, fold crescent rolls over top. Drizzle maple syrup over rolls and place a handful of brown sugar on top. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

    Friday, September 7, 2007

    Mixed Berry Coulis

    This sauce is so yummy. We use it over pancakes, waffles, crepes, ice cream and cheesecake. Or you can just drink it!

    3 ounces fresh strawberries (or thawed if frozen)
    3 ounces fresh blueberries (or thawed if frozen)
    3 ounces fresh raspberries (or thawed if frozen)
    3 ounces fresh blackberries (or thawed if frozen)
    5 - 7 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1/8 teaspoon table salt
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    1. In medium saucepan, bring berries, 1/4 cup water, 5 tablespoons sugar, and salt to bare simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally; cook until sugar is dissolved and berries are heated through, about 1 minute longer.2. Transfer mixture to blender or food processor; puree until smooth, about 20 seconds. Strain through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl, pressing and stirring puree with rubber spatula to extract as much seedless puree as possible. Stir in lemon juice and additional sugar, if desired. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour. Stir to recombine before serving. (If too thick after chilling, add 1 to 2 teaspoons water.) Can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 4 days.

    Tuesday, September 4, 2007

    Bacon Wrapped Chestnuts

    These are a great appetizer / party starter!

    1 lb Bacon
    2 Cans Whole Water Chestnuts

    1 cup Ketchup
    2/3 cup Brown Sugar

    Cut Bacon strips into thirds. Wrap Bacon around chestnut & secure with toothpick.
    Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, uncovered.
    Drain fat and cover with sauce. (Dip individually & pour remaining)
    Bake for another 20-25 minutes.

    (Tip: line the pan with foil for easier cleanup)

    Thursday, August 30, 2007

    What do you feed a toddler?

    Mia is a decent eater but also a little picky. I'm always looking for new ideas of healthy things to feed her for a meal, snack, etc. Can anyone out there share some ideas?

    Saturday, August 25, 2007

    Chicken Pistachio Salad

    This is a yummy & quick to make summer salad to get you through those warm summer months!!

    2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
    4 celery stalks, finely chopped
    3/4 cup grapes, sliced in half
    1/3 cup shelled salted pistachios, roughly chopped
    1/3 cup mayonnaise
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper

    Combine chicken, celery, grapes, pistachios, mayonnaise, salt & pepper. Stir well to coat and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve over a few leaves of romaine lettuce.

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    Zucchini Bread

    I had a request for my zucchini bread recipe. It's actually my mom's recipe and it's fabulous--thanks mom. I usually make it by replacing half of the flour with white whole wheat flour and half of the oil with applesauce. This makes a yummy toddler food too (inspite of the sugar...)

    3 eggs
    2 C sugar
    1 C oil
    3 C flour
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. soda
    1 tsp. salt
    3 tsp. cinnamon
    2 tsp. vanilla
    2 C grated (on the small grates) zucchini
    1 C chopped nuts (optional)

    Mix all together. Place in 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees.

    Bow Tie pasta with asparagus, almonds and browned butter

    1 tablespoon table salt
    1/2 teaspoon table salt
    1 pound bow tie pasta
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 pound asparagus , bottom 1 inch trimmed and discarded, spears halved lengthwise if larger than 1/2 inch in diameter and cut into 1-inch lengths
    3 large cloves garlic , sliced thin
    2 medium shallots , sliced into thin rings
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 6 pieces
    1 cup sliced almonds
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    1 teaspoon fresh thyme , chopped
    1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in stockpot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente. Drain and return to pot.2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until beginning to smoke. Add asparagus and cook, without stirring, until beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add garlic, shallots, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until asparagus is tender-crisp, about 4 minutes; transfer asparagus mixture to large plate and set aside. Return skillet to high heat and add butter; when foaming subsides, add almonds and cook, stirring constantly, until almonds are toasted and browned and butter is nutty and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Off heat, add vinegar and thyme; return asparagus to skillet and toss to coat. Add asparagus mixture and 1/2 cup Parmesan to pasta in stockpot; toss to combine. Serve immediately, passing remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan separately.

    *In a pinch you can use powdered parm, but I wouldn't substitute onions for the shallots. Also I have used chopped almonds instead of sliced and it was fine, and dried thyme works great too.

    Penne with Havarti

    The is my new favorite pasta recipe. I promise you will love it, it's amazing. I have even made it twice in one week.

    6 T. Olive Oil, Divided (4T for the sauce and 2 T to toss pasta with)
    1 Clove Garlic Minced
    4 T. Basil Minced
    2 Cups Chicken Broth
    1 C. Onion Finely Chopped
    1 Can Italian Stewed Tomatoes (28 oz.)
    1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
    2 1/2 Cups Grated Havarti Cheese
    1/2 to 2/3 cup olive tanpenade- you can find it at Costco or in a local grocery store next to the sliced cheese and prepared dips.
    1/4 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
    1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese

    Combine the first seven ingredients in stockpot; simmer sauce until reduced by half. Cook 16 oz. of penne pasta. Drain and toss with 2 T. olive oil. Add sauce and 2-½ c. havarti cheese grated. Mix together and put in a 9x13 pan (sprayed with Pam). Cover with basil, olive tanpenade and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes

    * This sauce freezes well and is good over any kind of pasta.

    Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I thought I'd kick off the blog with an American classic...these cookies are so yummy and I always have people ask me for the recipe. They're also good with 1/2 chocolate chips and 1/2 peanut butter chips.

    2 1/2 C oatmeal
    1 C butter
    1 C sugar
    1 C packed brown sugar
    2 eggs
    1 t vanilla
    2 C flour
    1/2 t salt
    1 t baking powder
    1 t soda
    3 C chocolate chips
    1 1/2 C chopped walnuts

    Measure oatmeal into a blender and blend to a fine powder. Beat butter & sugar until fluffy. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda. Stir until blended. Add chocolate chips and walnuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    Calling All Recipes!

    Hi Friends,

    As I talk to all of you out there it seems that each of us have a universal problem. We all get stuck in recipe ruts! Of course there is experimental cooking going on but I thought how fun it would be to be able to exchange tried and true recipes (or warnings of cooking disasters) among friends. I hope you will all post recipes so that we can share in the goodness as well as keep in touch!