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.)