Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Light wheat rolls

We've really tried to go whole grain on all of our bread-type products but finding a whole wheat recipe that actually didn't taste dense has been difficult. This one is so easy - when I made it I didn't have any white flour. I used whole wheat flour exclusively and they still turned out great. Also, if you have a mixer like a Kitchenaide, it's easy to do all the kneading in the bowl - just use the hook attachment and let it knead for the necessary amount of time.

2 pkgs active dry yeast or 4.5 teaspoons
1 3/4 cups warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter melted
1 egg beaten
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups white flour
Another 1/4 melted butter

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. Mix sugar, salt, 1/4 cup melted butter, egg, and whole wheat flour into yeast mixture. Stir in white flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto well floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. Punch down dough, cover, and let rise in warm place until doubled again, about 30 minutes.

4. Grease pans (you can use 2 dozen muffin cups, cake size pans etc, I used two 9x13 pans). Divide dough into 24 balls and place in pans (or cups). Let rise uncovered in a warm place about 40 minutes or until doubled in size.

5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with other 1/4 cup of melted butter.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stuffed Shells

1 (16 oz) package jumbo pasta shells
4 cups large curd cottage cheese
12 ounces mozzarella cheese
1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 pinch garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Cook shells according to package directions. Place in cold water to stop cooking. Drain.

2. Mix together cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, eggs, garlic powder and herbs. Stuff mixture into the shells.

3. Spread 1/3 cup of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of 10x13 pan. Place shells open side up, and close together in pan. Spread remaining sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.

4. Bake at 350 for 25 to 35 minutes, or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Chocolate Fondue

1/2 Cup whipping cream
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

1. In the top of a double broiler over hot (not boiling) water, heat cream until warm. Add chocolate, stirring constantly until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and transfer immediately to dessert fondue pot over candle flame.

Some ideas to serve with strawberries, banana slices, orange sections, pear wedges, apple wedges, pineapple, vanilla wafers, sponge cake cubes, marshmallows, maraschino cherries, broken sugar cookies, etc.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Easy microwave fudge

This is an update of my favorite stovetop fudge recipe. It is super easy to make!!

1½ sticks margarine or butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
3 cups sugar
2 cups (1 bag) chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tub marshmallow crème

Using a large microwavable bowl, mix together margarine or butter, sugar and evaporated milk. Microwave for 3 minutes. After the first 3 mintues, open microwave and stir mixture. Microwave for another 2 minutes, then take out and stir. Microwave for 2.5 minutes (watch for runover) then take out and stir. Microwave for a final 2 minutes (watching for runover), then take out and stir. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Pour into greased 9x13 pan then cover with plastic wrap. When ready to serve, cut into pieces.

Parmesan Fettuccine Alfredo

It's taken us a few years to find fettucine alfredo recipe that we actually enjoyed. We got this one off of (I'm sure that surprises no one by now!). You can easily add cooked chicken and other things to it according to your family's desires (veggies, etc)

8 oz. fettuccine, uncooked
3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/3 cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of ground nutmeg

Cook fettuccine as directed on package. Drain fettuccine. Return to pan. Add remaining ingredients; toss to coat.

Puffed Oven Pancake (aka German pancake)

This is a fun pancake to do when you want to change things up a bit. My kids & I really enjoy this one.

2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
3 eggs
½ cup flour
½ cup milk
¼ tsp. salt

Place butter in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet. Place in a 400 degree oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until butter melts. Meanwhile, for batter, in a medium bowl use a wire whisk or rotary beater to beat eggs until combined. Add flour, milk, and salt; beat until mixture is smooth. Immediately pour batter into the hot skillet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and well browned. If desired serve with marmalade & fruit or powdered sugar or whipped cream. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

Buttermilk Pancakes

My kids ask for these almost every morning. They are very easy to make. If you don't have buttermilk, just mix one tablespoon of lemon juice in one cup of milk and let sit for 5 minutes. Even now with Chase's gluten sensitivity, I can still make these pancakes - I just use a mixture of rice, tapioca and potato flour - he can't tell the difference! These pancakes also freeze very well - I make a double or triple batch most times and freeze the extras.

1 cup flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp. cooking oil

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside. Combine the egg, buttermilk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened.

For standard-size pancakes, pour or spread about 1/4 cup batter into a 3-inch circle onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. For dollar-size pancakes, pour or spread about 1 tablespoon batter into a 1-inch circle onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and edges are slightly dry.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Strawberry Crepes

We love crepes!! We make these up regularly for dessert or snacks. You can use other fillings, it doesn't have to be just strawberries and cream.

1 egg, beaten
¼ cup milk
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp. oil
2/3 cup flour
¼ tsp. sugar

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup sliced strawberries
¾ cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

1. In a large bowl, beat together egg, milk, water and oil. Beat in flour, sugar and salt until smooth.

2. Heat a medium, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place a ladleful of crepe batter into center of pan, tilting to coat the bottom. Cook until golden brown on one side, turning once, 2 to 5 minutes. Continue with remaining batter.

3. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

4. To assemble, spread some melted chocolate on the lighter side of one crepe. Place a line of overlapping strawberries down the center of the crepe and roll it up. Top with whipped topping and drizzle with a bit more chocolate. Repeat with remaining crepes.

Like Cinnabonn Cinnamon Rolls

If you like Cinnabonn cinnamon rolls, you'll love these! They are a copycat recipe that someone passed along to me. They do take some work to make but are so delicious!! Just make sure you have some people in mind to take them to or you'll be eating more than you'd like to think about.

3t yeast
1c warm milk
1/2c sugar
1/2c melted margarine
1t salt
2 eggs
4c flour

1c brown sugar
2 1/2T cinnamon
1/3c softened margarine

8T softened margarine
1 1/2c powdered sugar
1/4c (2oz) cream cheese
1/2t vanilla
1/8t salt

Dough: Mix all ingredients until a smooth ball of dough. You can use your bread machine for this part. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down and roll out to 21"x16"x1/4".

Brush with softened margarine and sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over it. Roll up lengthwise. To cut into rolls, use a piece of thread and go under and crisscross the thread so that it cuts through. Dental floss works well too.

Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until brown around the edges. The dough does not need to rise again.

While baking, beat together the icing ingredients and spread generously on each roll.

Joanne's Chocolate chip cookies

This recipe came from Greg's BioChem teacher. They stay soft for several days (that is, if they are even still around by then)!!

½ cup butter, margarine or Crisco
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 3.4 ounce pkg instant vanilla pudding
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp. hot water
2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream together butter and sugars. Add pudding, eggs, water & vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Combine flour and baking soda. Add to cream mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 for 9 minutes or until lightly browned.

Mexican manicotti

Another recipe from Julie - also a big hit!

1 pkg manicotti shells
2 C chicken (cooked and cubed)
2 C Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
1 ½ c cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 C sour cream1 small onion
1 can (4oz) chopped green chilies
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 C salsa
2/3 C milk

Cook manicotti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine chicken, 1½ cups of Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, sour cream, half of the onion, and 6 Tbs chilies. In another bowl, combine the soup, salsa, milk, and remaining green chilies. Spread ½ cup of the second mixture in a greased 13x9 baking dish. Drain manicotti; stuff each with about ¼ cup of chicken mixture. Arrange over sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over the shells. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle remaining Monterey Jack cheese on top. Bake another 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

Chicken pot pie

This is so easy that I always make two when I make it up. That way I can just freeze one or take it to someone.

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can (10 ¾ ounces) cream of chicken soup
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
1 double crust

1. Cook and cube chicken breasts.

2. Combine cheese, vegetables, soup and chicken. Place in crust. Cook at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Pork Chops w/ Onions and Apples

I know this sounds like a weird recipe - and we thought it was too until we tried it. It's from our friend Julie - she and her husband had us over for dinner to try it. It's SO good!!

2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
½ tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
4 pork chops (the ones that cook to white, not the darker ones)
2 medium onions (thinly sliced)
2 medium tart apples – peeled and chopped (Granny Smiths work great)
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs brown sugar

In a small bowl, combine the pepper, salt and garlic powder. Rub over pork chops. Grill the chops over medium heat until juices run clear. Meanwhile, in a skillet, sauté onions and apples in butter until tender. Add brown sugar and cook until thickened. Serve over pork chops.

Whole wheat pizza crust

One of our favorite things to do as a family is make homemade pizza. We discovered this whole wheat pizza crust and like it better than any of the crusts we've made before (white or wheat). The taste is not obvious that it's whole wheat but has great texture.

1 teaspoon white sugar
1 ½ cups warm water
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1. In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.

2. Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour until dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the remaining all-purpose flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth, about 10 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover loosely with a towel, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

3. When the dough is doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crusts or leave whole to make one thick crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.

4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll a ball of dough with a rolling pin until it will not stretch any further. Then, drape it over both of your fists, and gently pull the edges outward, while rotating the crust. When the circle has reached the desired size, place on a well oiled pizza pan. Top pizza with your favorite toppings, such as sauce, cheese, meats, or vegetables.

5. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes (depending on thickness) in the preheated oven, until the crust is crisp and golden at the edges, and cheese is melted on top.

Sixty-minute dinner rolls using a mixer

One area I really suffer in is breadmaking. This recipe is so easy that it turns out well for me every single time.

1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
5 to 6 cups all purpose flour

Place milk, sugar, salt and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in warm water in mixer bowl. Add milk mixture and 4 1/2 cups flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 1 minute.

Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Knead on speed 2 about 2 minutes longer, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 15 minutes. Turn dough onto flat surface. Shape as desired. Cover. Let rise 15 more minutes. Bake at 425 for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.

Buttermilk waffles

This is my kids' favorite waffle recipe. We make it regularly. I thought whole wheat waffles would be weird but they're actually very good!

1 Cup Whole wheat flour
1 Cup Old-fashioned rolled oats
1 Tablespoon Baking powder
1 Teaspoon Baking powder
3 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons Oil
1 1/4 Cups Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Water
1 Large Egg
3/4 Cup Jam

1. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk together oil, buttermilk, water, and egg in a separate bowl. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.

2. Heat waffle iron, coat lightly with cooking spray. Add a generous 1/2 cup batter per waffle and cook until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Serve with jam.

Four-Layer Dessert

Another new-found favorite from Kraft Foods :)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup finely chopped Slivered Almonds
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine, melted
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups thawed Whipped Topping, divided
3 cups fat-free milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) Pudding & Pie Filling, any flavor

PREHEAT oven to 350ºF. Mix flour, almonds and margarine until well blended. (Mixture will be crumbly.) Press onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake 15 min. or until lightly browned. Cool.

BEAT cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping. Spread onto crust.

POUR milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 min. Spread over cream cheese mixture; cover with remaining 1 cup whipped topping. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Cheese Stuffed Shells

We all love this one - even the kids. The only thing I would do different from the recipe is add more cheeses. It seems I always have leftover shells and they go so quickly, that I'd rather fill extra ones.1 container (16 oz.) cottage cheese
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked, drained
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 large tomato, chopped

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Mix cottage cheese, spinach, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, the Parmesan cheese and seasoning until well blended. Spoon evenly into shells.

MIX spaghetti sauce and tomatoes; spoon half into 13x9-inch baking dish. Place shells, filled-sides up, in baking dish; top with remaining sauce mixture. Cover with foil.
BAKE 25 min. or until heated through. Top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, an additional 2 min. or until cheese is melted.

Broccoli-Cheddar Chicken Bundles

This is a new find for us - we've made it a few times now and really like it. Also, it's much easier to make than I thought it would be to make stuffed chicken.8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (1 lb.)
1 cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
1 pouch SHAKE 'N BAKE Extra Crispy Seasoned Coating Mix

PREHEAT oven to 400ºF. Place chicken thighs, smooth-sides down, on cutting board. Flatten slightly by pounding with meat mallet to 1/2-inch thickness. Top evenly with broccoli; sprinkle with cheese and bacon.
ROLL up each chicken thigh tightly, starting at one of the short ends; secure with wooden toothpicks. Place coating mix in shallow bowl. Roll each chicken bundle in coating mix until evenly coated on all sides. Place, seam-sides down in single layer in foil-lined shallow baking pan.
BAKE 25 to 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through (170ºF). Remove and discard toothpicks before serving.

Melissa’s sugar cookies

I don't like most sugar cookie recipes because they either require refrigeration or they are hard to get off (even floured) surfaces in one piece to put onto cookie sheets. Our friend Melissa gave us her recipe - which is super easy and very tasty! They stay soft, too.

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and vanilla. Then add flour, baking powder and salt. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes at 400 degrees.

White chocolate mousse with raspberries

One of our favorite desserts!
2 Cups Fat free milk
1 pkg white chocolate pudding
1/2 cup whipped cream
1 Cup Fresh raspberries

Add milk to dry pudding mix in medium bowl. Beat with wire whisk for 2 minutes or until well blended.

Add the whipped topping and raspberries; stir gently until well blended.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Western Wraps

2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
8 ounces cream cheese
6 tortillas
Romaine lettuce
8 ounces roast beef
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 large diced tomato
½ thinly sliced small red onion

Combine cream cheese with barbecue sauce. Spread over tortillas.

Layer with lettuce, meat, cheese and vegetables.

Roll up each tortilla tightly and serve.

Aunt Helen's Taco Soup

The secret to this recipe is using vegetable juice instead of tomato sauce. It adds a little bit more flavor and more nutrients (no worries - if you don't live vegetable juice, you won't even notice!).

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can corn
2 11oz cans V8 juice
1 small can green chilies diced
1 large can kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
Taco seasoning

Brown hamburger & onion together. Add remaining ingredients (don't drain the juice out of the canned items). Heat. Serve over tortilla chips. Top with sour cream, cheese and guacamole if desired.

Strawberry Fruit Frost

1½ cups strawberries
2 small bananas
1 cup frozen peaches
1 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup ice cubes

Combine all ingredients except ice in blender. Blend until smooth. Add ice cubes - blend until smooth.

Stir-Fry Chicken & Veggies

This is our no-fail stir-fry recipe. We enjoy making it up and serving it with other Asian inspired foods.

3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 pound chicken breast cut into strips
1 package (10-16 ounces) frozen veggies containing broccoli, green beans, red bell peppers & mushrooms
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 package (10 ounces) fresh spinach (optional)

Heat a large, heavy skillet or wok over high heat until water sizzles when dropped onto the metal. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil and tilt the pan gently in all directions until the oil has coated the surface. When the oil is hot (not to the point of smoking), add the chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove chicken.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet. When hot, add the frozen veggie mix and stir-fry for 4 minutes, until the larger pieces are cooked through. Return the chicken to the skillet, add the water and soy sauce, and stir-fry for an additional 2 minutes. Add spinach (if using). Cover the pan and steam over medium heat for 2 minutes. Using tongs, turn the spinach once so that it heats evenly; cover an steam for an additional 2 minutes.

Remove the chicken and veggies with a slotted spoon and serve.

Steak & Mushroom Kabobs

This is one of our favorites to prepare during the nice grilling months.

1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 pounds sirloin steak, cut in 2" pieces
2 cups mushroom
1 large bell pepper
1 large onion

In a large bowl, combine the oil, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, marjoram, and oregano. Add the steak and stir to coat. Cover and allow to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes, then refrigerate overnight.

Coat a grill rack or broiler-pan rack with cooking spray. Preheat the grill or broiler.

Drain and discard the marinade. Thread the meat, mushrooms, pepper and onion onto skewers.

Grill over hot coals or broil 4" from the heat, turning occasionally, for 7 minutes, or until the mean is no longer pink.

Simply lasagna

No recipe collection would be complete without a version of lasagna. This one is a crowd pleaser every time (and came from Kraft Foods website).
15 ounces Cottage cheese
2 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 egg, beaten
1 can spaghetti sauce
1 pound ground beef
1 cup water
12 lasagna noodles, UNcooked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cottage cheese, 1 1/4 cups of the mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, parsley and egg until well blended; set aside.

Pour spaghetti sauce into meat in skillet. Pour water into empty sauce jar; cover and shake well. Pour into skillet; stir until well mixed. Place 1 cup meat sauce on bottom of 13x9 inch baking dish.

Layer 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture and 1 cup meat sauce. Repeat layers 2 more times. Top with remaining 3 noodles and sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/4 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Cover tightly with greased aluminum foil. Bake 45 minutes or until cooked through. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes or until bubbling. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting for easier serving.


Our first year of marriage, Greg was really craving German food. Of all the different types of restaurants we could find on Oahu, we couldn't find a German one. We went to Oktoberfest to enjoy some German foods. Greg's mom sent us this recipe that Greg enjoyed back home. It's name literally means sour roast - but don't let that fool you! It's not sour and is very tasty. The kids love it, and it's easy to make.

1 1/2 pounds steak
1/4 Cup Brown gravy mix
2 Cups Water
1 Tablespoon Onion, Minced
2 Teaspoons Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Brown sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Bay leaf
1/2 Package Egg noodles

Cube steak into 1" pieces, brown, remove. Add gravy mix and water. Bring to a boil. Stir in remaining ingredients except for noodles.

Return steak. Cover and simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Serve over noodles.

If cooking in slow cooker, combine all ingredients into slow cooker. Cover and cook for 4 to 6 hours on High or 8 to 10 hours on Low.

Spinach Salad

This is a wonderful salad - it's always a hit - especially at big potluck get-togethers.

1/2 cup almonds, slivered
1 head lettuce
1 bag spinach
3/4 pound grated Swiss Cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup mandarin orange, drained and rinsed
1 pound bacon, crumbled
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons mustard
3/4 cup oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 red onion, sliced

For the salad: Cook almonds in 3 tablespoons of sugar until light brown. Mix together lettuce, spinach, cheese, almonds, red onion and bacon.

For the dressing: Combine poppy seeds, white vinegar, mustard, oil, and 1/3 cup sugar. Place all into a jar and shake well. Let chill in fridge.

Add almonds, oranges and dressing before serving.


2 Cups Cheese, Shredded
6 Flour tortillas
3 Tablespoons Green chiles, Diced
3 Tablespoons Green onion, Chopped
4 Ounces Chicken, Cooked

1. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of cheese over half of each tortilla. Top with chile peppers, green onion, and chicken. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently.

2. In a skillet cook quesadillas, 2 at a time, over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned, turning once. Remove quesadillas from skillet; place on a baking sheet. Keep warm in a 300 degree oven. Repeat with remaining quesadillas. To serve, cut quesadillas into wedges. If desired, serve with salsa.

Aunt Helen's Potato Soup

My Aunt Helen gave us her recipe for potato soup - and it's so delicious!! The kids love it because they can add whatever toppings they desire without having to do the same toppings that we do. I'd never cooked with leeks before, but I do believe they are the "secret" ingredient to this soup.

2 large leeks, cut the greens off and slice up the whites
2 Tablespoons margarine or butter
1 quart chicken broth
2 lbs. diced potatoes
1 pint heavy whipping cream

1. Saute leeks in margarine until tender. Add chicken broth and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are tender. Mash or whip mixture. Add whipping cream. Heat, then serve.

2. Top with whatever toppings you would enjoy on baked potatoes if you desire - green onions, sour cream, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, etc. Or just eat as is - sometimes we serve it in bread bowls.

Mom's Pot Roast

This is such an easy pot roast recipe. It turns out tender every time - you only need your fork (so put away those knives). My kids love it as much as Greg & I do. This is the way my mom always made it. After playing with other recipes, this is the only way I make it, too.

3 carrots, sliced
3 potatoes, sliced
2 onions, sliced
1 to 3 pounds beef roast
1 envelope onion soup
1/2 cup water

1. Put vegetables in bottom of crock pot. Combine onion soup mix with water and pour over meat. Cover, cook on Low 10 to 12 hours or High for 5 to 6 hours. The best part is the next day you can make roast beef sandwiches with the leftovers.

Orange julius

I cannot remember the first time I had an orange julius. They are so good! My kids love them, too - they call them the "yellow orange juice". This is definitely a kid-friendly crowd pleaser.

6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ice cubes

Pour all ingredients except ice cubes into blender. Blend adding ice cubes one at a time, until smooth.

Hawaiian Haystacks

I was first introduced to Hawaiian Haystacks in my early 20s in Chico, California. Greg's family also enjoys them. We played with a few different sauces until we found this recipe in 101 Things to do with a Slowcooker. This is our family favorite now! Everyone loves it because they can individualize their servings.

2 Cans Canned chicken, cubed
1 Cup Chicken broth
2 Cans Condensed cream of chicken soup
12 Ounces Evaporated milk
6 Cups Cooked rice

1. Place chicken in greased 3.5 to 5 quart slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on high heat 3 to 4 hours or on low heat 6 to 8 hours. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

2. Serve over hot rice with a variety of cold toppings that could include grated cheese, peas, pineapple tidbits, shredded coconut, Chinese noodles, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, olives, sliced green peppers, green onion, celery, diced tomatoes, etc.

Grandma's meatloaf

My grandmother had a tradition she did with me and my siblings when we each turned 12. We had to know how to do basic mending and sewing. We also had to know how to read a recipe. She would then pull out her nice china and silver. Then we created a menu together (she and whichever of us she was working with). We did a seven course dinner where we had to set the table in proper formal settings. I wanted to make meatloaf. She found a recipe and then we altered it. This is now the recipe that she, my mom, and I each make. Enjoy!!

1 pound ground beef
1 package meat loaf seasoning
1 can tomato sauce
1 egg
5 hash browns, frozen
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Combine egg, seasoning, beef, some tomato sauce in bowl. Separate into half.

Line pan with half of beef mixture. Place three hashbrowns in center. Cover with cheddar cheese. Pour more tomato sauce.

Place rest of meat on top. Use remaining tomato sauce over meat.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Fruit flavored divinity

This wonderful recipe came from my mother-in-law. I have no idea how long she's been making it. We make this every Christmas to put on the goodie plates we take around to neighbors and friends. We do different flavors and colors to make a cheerful looking plate. As one friend in Hawaii said, "They are like little drops of heaven". They literally will melt in your mouth - and you can't stop with just one :)

3 Cups sugar
3/4 Cup water
3/4 Cup corn syrup
2 egg whites
1 package gelatin, any flavor

Mix water, sugar and corn syrup. Boil to hard ball stage. Meanwhile, beat egg whites until thick and fluffy. Add gelatin.

Once hardball stage, combine sugar mixture with egg mixture. Mix until thick. Quickly drop by spoonful onto wax paper.

Easy chicken parmesan fingers

Another easy, child-friendly meal from Kraftfoods. My kids love these! Greg will combine them with noodles, cheese and spaghetti sauce to make his own chicken parmesan. If you make too many, they reheat very nicely!
Easy parmesan chicken fingers
2 pounds chicken, cut into strips
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 envelope Shake & Bake
1 Cup Barbecue sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Moisten chicken strips with water. Shake off excess water. Add parmesan cheese to one pouch of Shake and Bake mix in shaker bag.

Add 2 or 3 chicken tenders to shaker bag and shake until evenly coated. Repeat with remaining chicken tenders. Place on nonstick baking sheet or baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Discard any remaining coating mixture in shaker bag.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with 1 cup barbecue sauce for dipping.

Nacho Skillet Dinner

I have no idea where I found this one. I've been using it for over 10 years now. It's super easy, filling, and satisfies cravings for southwestern food. I think this is what you would get if you made a combination of chili and nachos.

1 pound ground beef
2 Cups Corn (frozen is better)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 can kidney beans, drained
15 ounces tomato sauce
2 cups tortilla chips, broken
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef in large skillet; drain. Stir in corn, chili powder, beans and tomato sauce. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle with chips and cheese. Cover, heat about 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Easy Chili

Another great recipe from Julie. This is one chili recipe that tastes great, feeds a lot of people, and takes very little prep time!!

1 lb hamburger
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1 28oz can bushes baked beans
2 cans crushed or diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. chili powder
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 cans kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can northern white beans, drained

Heat thoroughly or cook in crock pot for 3-4 hours.
Brown hamburger with onion and garlic. Add baked beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, chili powder and brown sugar. Combine.
Add kidney beans, black beans and white beans.
Heat thoroughly or put in crock pot on low for 3-4 hours.

Chicken With Parmesan-Tomato Salsa Recipe

I found this recipe on Kraft Food's South Beach Diet website (when I was still on South Beach). Once I learned I actually was not insulin resistant, I moved on to more regular foods, however this became a favorite from my sugar free days.

1 Large Tomato, Chopped
1/3 Cup Green onion, Sliced
1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, Grated
4 Small Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Black pepper

1. Combine tomatoes, onions, vinegar and cheese; set aside. Cook chicken in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 2. Serve topped with tomato mixture.

Southwest Chicken Tortilla Soup

When you are in the mood for soup with lots of flavor, this is definitely the one you want! It is very easy to make and very flavorful. It can also be topped with corn tortilla strip if you desire.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can (4 oz) chopped mild green chilies
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cans (15 oz each) diced tomatoes, including juice
1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1 avocado, seeded, peeled, diced and tossed with lime juice to prevent browning

Place chicken in slowcooker.

Combine chilies, garlic, onion, tomatoes 1/2 cup chicken broth and cumin in small bowl. Pour mixture over chicken.

Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours. When chicken is tender, use the tines of 2 forks to shred the meat. Adjust seasonings adding additional broth if necessary.

Serve in soup bowls, topping each serving with cheese, avocado and a squeeze of lime juice.

Per Serving: 314 Calories; 11g Fat; 40g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 96mg Cholesterol; 323mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 5 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat.

Chicken Divan

When growing up, we got to spend a couple weeks each summer in the Bay Area visiting my aunt & uncle and their kids. My aunt would make chicken divan. It took me several years to find a recipe that tasted similar to hers. It's still not as good as hers is, but we all enjoy it.

2 Cups chicken, cooked and chopped
2 Cups frozen broccoli
1 Can cream of mushroom soup
1 Can cream of chicken soup
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
4 Cups rice, uncooked
1/2 Cup grated cheddar cheese

Microwave broccoli until heated through. Remove excess water. Combine soups, curry and mayonnaise. Spread soup combo across bottom of 9x13 pan. Evenly spread chicken and broccoli on top of soup mixture. Sprinkle cheese across top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. While casserole is baking, prepare rice according to package directions. Serve casserole over rice.
Per Serving: 699 Calories; 20g Fat; 23g Protein; 104g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 65mg Cholesterol; 479mg Sodium. Exchanges: 6 1/2 Grain (Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 2 Fat.

Nestle Chewy Cocoa Brownies

I took this recipe off the back of a package of Nestle Baking Cocoa. We've loved it as our primary brownie recipe ever since!

1 2/3 Cups sugar
3/4 Cup Butter or margarine
2 Tablespoons Water
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 Cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Grease 9x13" pan. Combine sugar, butter and water in large bowl.

Stir in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Stir into sugar mixture. Spread into baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 25 minutes.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving: 167 Calories; 9g Fat; 3g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 33mg Cholesterol; 98mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain (Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 11/2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This recipe comes from our friend Julie. She was the manager of the apartment complex that we were assistant managers. Living and working that closely, we shared several meals together :)We'll be sharing a few of her recipes on here (everyone we've tried, we've loved!).

16 ounces frozen, chopped broccoli
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup chopped onion
4 Tablespoons Flour
2 cups milk (or one cup milk and one cup cream)
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup velveeta, cubed

Cook broccoli and drain. Melt butter, add onion and saute. Blend in flour, add broth & cook until boiling, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, worcestershire sauce, broccoli and cheeses. Once cheeses are melted, serve.

Yield: 2 Quarts
Per Serving: 376 Calories; 30g fat; 17g Protein; 15g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 91mgCholesterol; 1010mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain (Starch); 2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 4 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bacon Bagel Club

Looking for new sandwich ideas? This has become a favorite of ours - it's also easy to make sack lunches with.

1 bagel, split, toasted
1 tsp. dijon mustard
3 slices ready to serve bacon
6 slices oven roasted turkey breast
1 lettuce leaf
1 slice tomato
Avacado slices (optional)

SPREAD cut sides of bagel with mustard.
PLACE bacon, turkey, lettuce, avacado and tomato on bottom half of bagel; cover with top of bagel.

Glazed Ham with Dijon-Pineapple Sauce

I needed an easy ham recipe to make for Easter dinner. I'd never made a ham before and found this one. It was a HIT! Everyone loved it! My 5 year-old and 4 year-old kept taking slices of ham and eating them with their fingers instead of going after the desserts. It was also extremely easy. I did change a few things - I chose to cook it in a slow cooker instead to reduce the odds of it burning. I cooked it on low for 3 hours. I also poured the glaze over it at the beginning. It was really good and really easy.
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup maple-flavored or pancake syrup
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 whole fully cooked boneless ham (5 lb.)
Whole cloves
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix sugar, syrup and mustard until well blended; set aside. Score ham with sharp knife; insert cloves into ham as desired.

BAKE 2 hours or until ham reaches internal temperature of 140°F when tested in center with meat thermometer, brushing occasionally with 1/2 cup of the syrup mixture after 1-1/2 hours.
MIX remaining syrup mixture with cornstarch and pineapple with its liquid in saucepan; cook on medium-high heat until mixture comes to boil and thickens, stirring constantly. Serve with the sliced ham.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Updated Shepherd's Pie

Yes, another one from I loved shepherd's pie growing up. This has a nice twist on it - the mashed potatoes use sour cream. This dish has great flavor and is a family favorite.

1-1/4 lb. potatoes, cut into chunks
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
3/4 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
2 Tbsp. flour
4 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
3/4 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
2 Tbsp. ketchup

PLACE potatoes and garlic in large saucepan; add enough water to cover. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 min. or until potatoes are tender. Drain; return to saucepan. Add sour cream; mash potatoes until smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese.

PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Brown meat in large nonstick skillet. Stir in flour; cook 1 min. Add vegetables, broth and ketchup; cook 5 min. Spoon into 8-inch square baking dish; cover with potatoes.

BAKE 18 min.; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake an additional 2 min. or until cheese is melted.

Perfect BBQ Grilled Chicken

Another from I know it sounds weird to use cesar salad dressing in a bbq recipe, however it's delicious! The dressing keeps it moist - all you taste is the bbq sauce. This is a very easy and quick recipe that everyone loves.

1/3 cup classic Caesar Dressing
4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb.)
1/4 cup Barbecue Sauce

POUR dressing over chicken in resealable plastic bag. Seal bag; turn to evenly coat chicken with dressing. Refrigerate 30 min. to marinate. Remove chicken from marinade; discard bag and marinade.

PREHEAT grill to medium heat. Place chicken on grill; cover with lid.

GRILL 6 to 8 min. on each side or until cooked through (165°F), turning and brushing occasionally with barbecue sauce for the last few minutes.

Marble Squares

Another family favorite from This is a big hit if you like brownies with a twist. They come out very moist and are delicious!
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup water
1 pkg. (8 squares) Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate or 8oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
2 cups flour
2-1/3 cups sugar, divided
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, divided
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened

PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Microwave butter, water and 2 of the chocolate squares in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted; stir until chocolate is completely melted. Chop remaining 6 chocolate squares; set aside. Stir in combined flour, 2 cups of the sugar, the baking soda and salt. Add 2 of the eggs and the sour cream; mix well. Pour into greased and floured 15x10x1-inch baking pan.

BEAT cream cheese and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in small bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add the remaining egg; mix well. Spoon over chocolate batter; cut through batters with knife several times for marble effect. Sprinkle with the chopped chocolate.

BAKE 25 to 30 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. Cut into 36 squares.

All-in-One Pot Saucy Pasta

This all time family favorite came from We've been making it regularly for over two years. It's easy for ward dinners, to take to someone's home, and freezes well.

1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3 Cups rotini pasta, uncooked
2 Cups water
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce (about 3 cups)
1 Cup sliced mushrooms
1 Cup chopped red peppers
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

BROWN meat large deep skillet; drain. Add onions; cook until tender.

ADD pasta, water and spaghetti sauce. Bring to boil; cover Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 min., stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and red peppers; cook 5 min.

SPRINKLE with cheese.

Norwegian Meatcakes with Sauce

We had the privilege of having a missionary celebrate his birthday while in our area. He's from Norway so we contacted his mother. She said this is one of his favorite foods. If you enjoy meat and potatoes, you'll love this hearty meal!

1 lb ground beef
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp potato flour/starch
7 fl. oz milk
1 egg

2 Cups water
6 Tbsp plain flour
7 fl. oz milk or water
1 beef bouillon cube
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Place ground beef into a bowl, add salt, and work in. It should become sticky. Add the potato starch and spices. Stir well.

Add milk 2 tablespoons at a time. (Stir well before adding more milk!)

Add the egg. With a tablespoon dipped in cold water, form small "cakes"/"cookies" and fry them in a frying pan with butter.

Remove and place on a plate when cooked.

After you have fried the meatcakes, add the 2 cups of water to the pan and let it boil. After a minute, pour it into a different sauce pan.

Add the bouillon cube and bring to a boil. Mix the milk or water and flour (no lumps).

Add the milk/flour mix to the boiling water while stirring. Add meatcakes to the sauce and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over cubed, boiled potatoes.