Monday, November 15, 2010

Washington Cooking and Entertainment Show Recipe

Michelle and I went to see Bobby Flay on Saturday morning at the Washington Cooking and Entertainment show. He made this great set of recipes. Our mouths were watering for it, but not the one he made. So I thought I would share it with you all as well. This recipe can be found on their website at: But his recipes are as follows:



1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into large dice

3 carrots, peeled and cut into large dice

12 shallots, peeled

2 poblano chiles, cut into large dice

Canola oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chopped cilantro


Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Combine squash, carrots, shallots, and poblano chiles in a large cast iron pan, toss with a few tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until golden brown and just cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in the cilantro and season with more salt, if needed.



1 3 ½ to 4 lb chicken, rinsed, patted dry and butterflied

½ cup honey

1 Tbsp chipotle puree

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Canola oil


1. Preheat oven to 550 degrees F. Whisk together the honey, chipotle, mustard, salt and pepper. Set aside for to allow the flavors to meld.

2. Brush the chicken with oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast, skin side up until the skin begins to turn light golden brown, about 25 minutes. Brush with the glaze and continue roasting until an instant read thermometer inserted into the breast, registers 158 degrees F, about 15 to 20 minutes longer. Brush liberally with the glaze during the last 10 minutes of roasting.

3. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes before carving.



3 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice

Kosher salt

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 Tbsp flour

2 cups hot milk

1 ¼ lbs Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated

½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

Freshly ground black pepper

2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and finely diced

1 stick unsalted butter

1 ½ - 2 cups heavy cream, heated

Chopped fresh cilantro leaves


1. Put potatoes in a large pot, cover by a few inches with cold water and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Bring to a boil, cover and cook until a paring knife inserted in the center meets no resistance.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the hot milk, increase the heat to high and cook until thickened and flour taste is cooked out, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the Monterey Jack cheese until smooth and melted. Stir in the Parmigiano Reggiano and poblano chiles and season with salt and pepper.

3. Drain the potatoes well. Put through a ricer set over a bowl, Return the riced potatoes to the pot on the stove over low heat, add the butter and 1 ½ cups of warm cream and using a wooden spoon, gently stir the potatoes while folding in the butter and cream, season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl, make a well in the middle of the potatoes and fill with the cheese sauce, garnish with the cilantro.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Caramel-Glazed Apple Cake

1 C packed light brown sugar
1 C sugar
1½ C oil
3 eggs
3 C all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat instead)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
5 Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces
1¼ C chopped pecans or walnuts, opt
1 Tbsp vanilla

4 Tbsp butter
¼ C sugar
¼ C light brown sugar
pinch salt
½ C heavy cream

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease 9x13 pan.
  2. To prepare the cake, beat both sugars and oil in a mixing bowl until very well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, mixing just until blended. Stir in apples, pecans and vanilla; pour into pan.
  3. Bake for 50-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan while preparing the glaze.
  4. To prepare the glaze, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in both sugars and salt; cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add cream and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Poke holes in the cake with a skewer or toothpick. Pour on the glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

I found this recipe in my Oct 2009 Costco Connections. It looked so good, so I ripped it out of the magazine and stuck it with the other ripped out recipes. One year later while flipping through folder of recipes I found it again and this time I make it. Wow, it is so good. Andrew and I kept nibbling more and more. Silly Sophie liked it but not the white chunks (apple pieces). I didn't pour the glaze over the cake like the recipe calls for, we kind of iced it on and the cake didn't need it. And I noted in the recipe that I used whole wheat, 100%, makes me feel a little better while eating piece number 2 in one day that I am getting some fiber. I am thinking the next time I make it to decrease the amount of oil and replace it with applesauce, and trust me there will be a next time.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sausage and Pepper Heros

This recipe was great. I made it last night for the first time. It was delicious! Easy!! and Messy!!!. I got the recipe from Carmine's Restaurant in NYC. They have a cookbook (worth it's money-- we have made many, many recipes from it and like each one of the them). So here is the recipe.

12 3-oz sausages
5 cups marinara sauce
4 cups peppers and onions (I used one red, yellow and orange pepper; plus a sweet and a red onion)
4 crispy hero rolls

1. Preheat oven to 375'
2. Cut the sausages almost in half lengthwise. Place them, cut side up, in a large shallow casserole or baking pan and pour marinara sauce over them. Bake them for 12-15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling hot and the sausages are heated through.
3. In a large saute pan, warm up the peppers and onions over med-high heat, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until they are hot. As the peppers and onions heat cut them with a fork or lightly mash them to make them easier to eat.
4. Meanwhile, slice the rolls in half lengthwise, without cutting all the way through. Arrange the rolls cut sides up, on a baking sheet and toast them under a broiler for 2-3 minutes or until slightly brown.
5. To assemble each sandwich, spread about 3 TBSP of marinara sauce on each half of the roll. Place 3 butterflied sausages on each roll. Top the sausages with 1 cup of the peppers and onions. Fold the other half of the roll over the sausages. Cut the sandwich in half and serve.

Note: I would put the onions and peppers on before the sausages. That way they don't fall off as easily. That would be my only change. Otherwise it was really, really good. I also think I cooked mine stuff closer to 20 minutes (sausage, sauce, onions and peppers).

If you are in NYC and you need a good place to eat, I highly, highly, highly recommend this restaurant: Carmine's. It is right in the middle of Broadway/Time Square area. Well worth the visit. There was 5 adults and our total cost of the evening (food, appetizers, salads and 2 glasses of wine) was $125. I think that is really good for NYC and dinner out. I would recommend the following items to try: Veal in a Lemon & Butter Sauce (out of this world)( you can also use chicken instead, if you don't eat veal) and Shrimp in Red Sauce. That is what we ordered and every ounce was GONE! I would go back in a heartbeat and am so thankful I purchased the cookbook while I was there. We have used it over and over again. (And yes Michelle, you can borrow the cookbook if you want).

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Baked Blueberry French Toast

This is a recipe from Don't Panic-Dinner's in the Freezer. It is really good, at least Andrew and I thought so. I am thinking of trying it again with a different fruit, maybe peaches.

Baked Blueberry French Toast
6 slices French bread*, cubed
8 oz package cream cheese**, cubed
1 21 oz can blueberry pie filling***, divided
6 large eggs
¼ C maple syrup
1 C milk
½ tsp cinnamon

Cooking day instructions:
Butter an 8x8 baking dish. Place half the bread cubes in prepared dish. Scatter cream cheese cubes over first layer of bread cubes. Spoon half the can of pie filling in dollops over top and complete layering with remaining bread cubes. In medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, maple syrup and milk. Whisk until well blended. Pour over existing layers. Spread remaining blueberry pie filling over top, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Freeze.

Serving day instructions:
Thaw completley. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover baking dish with foil and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove foil from dish and continue baking uncovered for an additional 30 minutes. Place in individual serving bowls and serve warm with maple syrup.

*I made my own french bread and I made it using 100% whole wheat.
**Cut up the cream cheese into really small cubes, that way you get smaller bites throughout the dish
***I made my own blueberry pie filling and then measured out 21-ish ounces.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Apple Chutney

I just posted this on my blog. Sorry it's been a while since I've put anything on here! I love apple chutney. I haven't tried this recipe with anything else (ie plums), but I'm sure you could experiment successfully. This is a great way to use up old apples.

Apple Chutney

From Eastside Café in Austin, Texas

1 pound Granny Smith apples

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons onion, diced

2 teaspoons fresh jalapenos, seeded and minced (watch for spiciness—hot jalapenos can burn your hands and don’t ever touch your face when handling them)

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced

½ teaspoon fresh garlic minced

½ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground coriander

1/3 cup raisins

Pinch of salt

Peel and quarter apples. You can use an apple slider, but don’t use it on all the apples because it will be a mushy chutney instead of a chunkier one.

Slice in ¼ inch slices. Combine apples and remaining ingredients in a large stock pot.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.

This recipe doubles and cans very well.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bacon, Lettuce, and Salsa Wraps

I'm not a summer person. The heat reduces me into a whiny, unmotivated puddle. It is a testament to Rob's saintliness that we survived our first summer of marriage without an air conditioner. When it gets hot, I find myself getting creative in the kitchen so I can turn that darn stove off as quickly as possible. So I was delighted to come across this recipe I'd clipped from my Better Homes and Garden magazine a few months back. The only cooking involved is microwaving some bacon (and who doesn't love bacon?). The flavors are simple enough to remind me why I adore BLTs, but with enough differences from BLTs to feel like I made a genuine meal.

Bacon, Lettuce, and Salsa Wraps
3 tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice
salt to taste
8 slices bacon (plus a few more to munch on while you cook, or is that just me?)
Roughly 2 cups lettuce (I used romaine, but go with any variety you like)
4 flour tortillas (optional: veggie-flavored flour tortillas)

Combine first five ingredients. Set aside.
Microwave the bacon according to package directions on paper towels.
To assemble wraps, spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on each tortilla. Top with salad, then fresh salsa, then 2 slices bacon (whole or chopped, whatever you prefer). Roll up and serve.

*Note: You can sub in whatever variety of fresh salsa you like; I used this combination to keep the flavors uncomplicated.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

This recipe is from a great friend, Erin S. She got the recipe from the Barefooted Contessa. I hope you enjoy it. It is very yummy. Sorry it took me so long to publish Erin!

4 to 5 pounds broccoli
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Roasted Vidalia Onions

Last night I made dinner for some friends. I saw this recipe somewhere a long time ago and it looked great. So I wanted to try it out. It went well with the main dish (Balsamic BBQ Chicken) that I decided to make it. Well it was delicious. Very, very, very good. There was NONE left for me to enjoy today. good thing I saved an onion. Quick, simple and delicious-- always a good combo when you cook.

4 Vidalia or other sweet onions, each peeled and cut into 8 wedges (about 2 pounds)
Olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. Arrange onion wedges on a jelly-roll pan coated with oil; sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Turn onion wedges over; bake an additional 20 minutes or until onions are tender.

3. Spoon onions into a serving dish, and drizzle with vinegar.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Zuccotto Cake

Okay I have to say first and foremost, this is one of the best, lightest and easiest summer cakes to make. It is an Italian Summer Cake. I of course modified it a little bit, but really, really delicious. I made it Friday night for dessert when I had friends over, but I really do love this cake.

1 (12 oz) loaf pound cake (homemade or store bought, it doesn't matter)
1/4 cup brandy (I usually leave this step out)
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I prefer European, Swiss chocolate, but any will do)
2 cups chilled whip cream (Usually end up using 4 cups)
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted, coarsely crumbled
unsweetened cocoa powder (again Swiss preferred)

1. Line bowl with plastic wrap. Cut pound cake into thin slices. Line bottom and sides of bowl with cake. Brush some brandy over the cake. Reserve extra cake
2. Stir chocolate in a large metal bowl over sauce pan of simmering water until chocolate melts. Allow chocolate to cool slightly. Beat 1 cup of whipping cream until thick and fluffy. Fold 1/4 at a time into the chocolate. Spread chocolate cream over the cake, covering completely and creating a welled center. Cover & Refrigerate, if not assembling immediately.
3. In another large bowl, add remaining cream and almond extract. Using mixer beat on med speed gradually adding powdered sugar (if using more than 2 cups of cream, double powdered sugar). Beat until firm peaks form. Fold in nuts. Spoon the cream mixture into well, fill completely.
4 Brush remaining cake slices with brandy and arrange them, brandy side down, over the cake, covering the filling completely. Trim off to fit. Cover cake in the plastic wrap.
5. Refrigerate 3-24 hours.
6. Invert the cake onto platter. Remove from bowl. Sift cocoa powder over and serve.

My family loves, loves, loves this cake in the summer. It is a perfect. A light summer cake for those hot, hot summer days. Again, I don't use the brandy, but if you drink and you want to, go ahead. I have made it both ways and have to say I prefer it without the brandy.

Strawberries, Strawberries, Strawberries. Everything Strawberries!

Last week Michelle and I went Strawberry picking at Homestead Farms in Poolesville, MD. I love this farm. They always have great produce. It was fun despite the 90+ degree weather and we took home both Strawberries and Tart Cherries. So now I have all these strawberries, what shall I make? Well I made the following recipes with my strawberries.

Strawberry Jam
from Zooey Deschanel, published in Self Magazine in August 2009.

3 pints of strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup sugar cubes

Cook berries in a heavy sauce pan over low heat , stirring every 15 minutes, until jam-like in consistency, about 3 hours. Add sugar, using more (up to 3/4 cup) if you like your jam sweeter, and stir until dissolved. Transfer jam to a jar and let cool and refrigerate. It is fresh jam, so keep it refrigerated for no more than 2 weeks. Makes about 3 cups.

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Gourment, June 2001

1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3 strips fresh lemon zest
1/8 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 lbs. strawberries (3 cups), trimmed and quartered
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice.

Combine cream, zest and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and discard zest.
Whisk eggs with 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl,then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking. Pour back into saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and a instant read thermometer registers 170', DO NOT LET BOIL.
Immediately pour custard through a fine sieve into a metal bowl, then cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Chill, covered, at least until cold, about 2 hours, and up to 1 day.
While custard is chilling, puree strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice in a blender until smooth, then force through fine sieve (to remove seeds) into chilled custard. Site puree into custard.
Freeze in ice-cream maker, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thanks Sheila for the new website

Here is a new website on Healthy Kids Meals (snacks mainly):

It is a great website with great ideas if you want your kids to eat super healthy and it is quick and easy. I cannot wait to try the Peanut butter oatmeal with chocolate chips- yum, yum.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chicken Cilantro Enchildadas

Last Thursday Lizbeth and I taught a class on freezer meals for the Relief Society (women's organization of our congregation). We had a great turn out. Part of the night was also using this information to serve others by preparing meals. This is one of the recipes I picked to make. It is from Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer, my latest cookbook. I really like this cookbook, it has some great recipes. What I really like is that they give you the single entree and then in a chart it is multiplied by different quantities but usually 3, 6 and 9.

This enchilada recipe is quite tasty, I made some with leftovers for dinner Friday. I followed the recipe and decided when I make it again in bulk I will add some other ingredients. Today I made the enchiladas in bulk (ended up with 6 9x9pans and a 9x13) and added roasted green peppers, tomatoes and black beans. Yummy! Enjoy.

Chicken Cilantro Enchiladas(from Don't Panic, Dinners in the Freezer)
2 lbs bonesless skinless chicken breasts
2 C water
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 sprigs fresh cilantro
1 1/3 C chicken broth
2 10oz cans mild enchilada sauce
4 C grated Monterey Jack cheese
8 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro leaves
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
10 corn tortillas

Bring chicken breasts to boil in water with onion, garlic and cilantro sprigs. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove chicken from broth and cool; shred meat; strain broth. Add 1 1/3 cups chicken broth to enchilada sauce; set aside.

For filling, combine chicken, 2 cups cheese, green onions, and chopped cilantro leaves with salt, pepper and tabasco sauce to taste. Add 1 cup enchilada sauce/broth mixture to moisten filling.

To assemble, warm tortillas on hot skillet or griddle until flexible, turning once or in the microwave. Dip each corn tortillas in enchilada sauce mixture until coated on each side and lay flat. Fill with 2-3 Tbsp chicken filling and roll tortilla. Place filled tortillas, seam side down, in 9x13 baking dish. Spoon remaining sauce over filled tortillas; sprinkle with remaining 2 cups cheese. Freeze.

Serving day instructions:

Thaw completely. Bake at 350ºF for 25-35 minute, until sauce bubbles and cheese is melted. Top with your choice of lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and sliced avocados.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Corn & Tomato Salad

I LOVE this Salad! It is great, tasty and super fast to make. What more can you ask for in a salad. I usually make this salad in the summer time, the ingredients explain why.

Corn (2 bags of frozen or 6 ears of fresh, cut from the cob after cooking)
2 cups cherry Tomatoes. Cut into halves (2 cups)
8 oz. Buffalo Mozzarella cheese (I get the small size and cut in half)
1 1/2 cups fresh Basil, cut into long slivers
1/4 cup chopped red onion (or 1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced)

3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tsp. kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Whisk vinegar, salt, pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil starting with a few drop and then
adding the rest in a steady stream to make a smooth dressing.

Shear off the corn kernels with a sharp knife over a bowl. toss in the tomatoes, scallions and mozzarella. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes-2 hours. Before serving, teat the basil over the salad and stir.

Notes: I tend to use frozen corn. I actually make the salad while the corn is still frozen and let it de-thaw in the frig. It is great for a BBQ or pot luck outside because the salad really does not need to stay refrigerated after made and marinated. And it is really, really good. But tonight we are having it with Hamburgers for dinner. Yum, Yum. I cannot wait.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Apple Turkey Burgers

Turns out, I get very lazy about cooking when I'm pregnant (and writing about cooking - I apologize for missing the past two weeks). So I'm grateful for quick, easy meals like this one that I can turn to when I don't have the energy to cook. I like these best topped with a sweet barbecue sauce and cheddar, but you can use whatever you normally like on your burgers.

Apple Turkey Burgers

1.5 pounds ground turkey
¼ cup applesauce
1 egg
1 teaspoon McCormick's Chicken Seasoning
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Hamburger buns (for 6 patties)
Burger toppings of your choosing

Combine all ingredients except buns. Shape into six patties. Cook either on Foreman grill or in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat until cooked through.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Honey Lime Chicken with Rice


4 chicken breast
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup honey

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, lime juice and honey, stirring well. Put chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour sauce over top. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, turning every 15-20 minutes. Remove from marinade and cook (either on grill or in oven for 350' for 35 to 45 minutes).


lime juice

Cook rice with chopped onions. Right before serving, pour lime juice over top, mix and serve.

Notes: Chicken: This recipe is a freezer meal recipe. If freezing, place container in freezer after 1 hour of marinating in the frig. Then to cook, Thaw chicken in refrigerator overnight. Remove chicken from marinade and BBQ on the grill, or cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until juices run clear and thermometer registers 165'F.
I made this as a trial for a freezer meal class I am co-teaching with Michelle. It is a summer winner! I love it. I did not freezer it, so I am not sure how it freezes. I do have extra from my first try, so I am freezing it. I hope it turns out. I am thinking it will be even better as the chicken marinades even more. I would add a little salt and pepper before I grill it next time, for a little more flavor.
Rice: I actually love this rice recipe. I added it once to rice because I had extra lime juice from a fresh juiced lime. It adds so much flavor to the rice. Now whenever I can, I try to add fresh juice to rice. I add right before serving and not during cooking (some juices change flavor during cooking). I have added lemon, lime, or orange juice. Stir well to make sure all rice received the added flavor. If you have never done it, 1-2 Tablespoons is usually enough. Taste to make sure you put enough on the rice.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

So today I was watching the Barefooted Contessa on TV and she made homemade Granola Bars. Well I have been looking for a recipe for a while. So I tried them (with modifications) and love it. So I thought I would share. I will adjust the recipe for what I made. Here you go...

2 cups old-fashion oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup flax seed (whole or grounded)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter in an- 8 X 12 inch baking dish and line with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and back for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ and flax seed.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degree F.
Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the cranberries and chocolate chips and stir well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2-3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

Notes: The Barefooted Contessa made her with chopped pitted dates (1/2 cup), chopped dried apricots (1/2 cup) and dried cranberries (1/2 cup). I LOVE cranberries and chocolate together and thought it would make a great granola bar. The only problem was that the chocolate chips melted immediately, so there are not really chocolate chips in there, but it is really good. Next time I may try adding the chocolate chips a little later when things cool down, but overall it was very, very good. I may try different combinations of dried fruits later on. We will see. I also added ground flax seed (and if you know me, this should be no surprise-- I love adding it to everything I bake!!!!). I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Easy Paella

Sometimes you just need a good, easy summer-y dish. This one fits the bill. It isn't authentic but it is fast and flexible with the ingredients, and the best part is that you only dirty one pot. Here is what you need:

1 bag yellow rice
some kind of meat/seafood (a good way to use up leftovers)
vegetables (we like tomatoes and bell peppers, but you could use asparagus, peas, artichoke hearts, or any leftovers you have.)
onion, chopped
herbs of choice (parsley is good)

This is what I do. It is a basic approximation, and I'm sure I don't always do things the "right" way, so feel free to adapt it any way you'd like.

Heat up some olive oil in a large skillet. If your meat isn't already cooked, salt and pepper it and then brown it in the oil with the onion (and garlic if you'd like). Remove. Brown veggies. Put meat back in. Put in a can of whole tomatoes, using some of the juice to de-glaze the pan. Let the flavors meld for a few minutes. Then put in some more water and add the rice. (Sometimes I cook the rice separately and add it at the end, which is easier--and you really can't tell much of a difference in flavor.) Cover and cook for 10 minutes or so or until rice is done. Crack a couple of eggs over the top and stir it around until the eggs have cooked. Add herbs of choice.

If you have fresh tomatoes or a similar vegetable, it is best to wait until the end to add them or they might get overcooked.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Roasted Potatoes

One of my all time favorite recipes is Oven Roasted Potatoes. It is super simple and taste wonderful.

baby yukon gold or baby red potatoes (in one package from the grocery store)
extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 425'
cut potatoes in half (really large ones, quarter)
place EVOO at bottom of baking sheet. We use stoneware, so it may cook slightly different on a normal baking sheet. but well worth the stoneware. Then place salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary (pull from stem, but don't cut) on bottom of sheet above the EVOO. Then place potatoes cut side down.
Place in oven for 30-45 minutes or so. When done, the cut side will be golden brown and a fork will easily fork into potato.
Serve with meat, chicken or whatever else you choose.

I really love rustic cooking and this is as rustic as you get. 5 ingredients, one baking sheet, simple, pure and delicious. Could you really ask for anything more? I personally prefer baby yukon gold potatoes, but either one is delicious. It is also very impressive with meat dishes if you put the potatoes at the bottom then the meat at the top. Plus if you really want to be easy you could put roughly chopped carrots with the potatoes for a colorful variation.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

I know of two sure-fire ways to get Emily to eat her vegetables. One is to stir vegetable baby food into her pancake batter before cooking it (hey, desperate times). The other is to make this chicken pot pie. When I made it this week, she ate more of it than I did. The sauce came from this recipe at, but I've tweaked the meats and veggies to fit my family's preferences. I like to make the insides during Emily's nap, and then stick them in the fridge until I'm ready to pour it into the crust and bake it.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 large chicken breast, diced
1 cup sliced carrots
3/4 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425.
Combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery in a saucepan. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the chicken/veggie mixture in the bottom crust. Pour the sauce over the mixture, then cover with top crust. Seal edges, cut away the extra dough, and make slits so the steam can escape.
Bake for roughly 30 minutes.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Chocolate Passion Trifle

I love trifles because the layering process make a simple combination of ingredients seem special. I make this in a large trifle dish, but it would also work well in parfait glasses for individual servings.

Chocolate Passion Trifle

One pan of your favorite brownies, baked (I love Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate)
3 cups cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) instant chocolate pudding
1 tub cool whip French Vanilla flavor, thawed
1 pt. (2 cups) raspberries, thawed if frozen

Pour milk into large bowl Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping.

Place half of the brownie cubes in 2 quart serving bowl; top with half the pudding mixture, half the raspberries, and half the whipped topping. Repeat all layers.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Raspberry-Topped Lemon Pie

(Sorry I've been MIA the past couple of posts!)

This pie is a family favorite. Even my husband, who doesn't normally care much for pies, can't get enough of this one. It is quick and easy to make. It is light and fresh and summery, and perfect with a dollop of freshly whipped cream on top.

1 (10 oz) pkg frozen raspberries
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 c lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 graham cracker pie crust

In a small saucepan, combine raspberry and cornstarch. Cook and stir until thickened and clear (sometimes I add some sugar, but it is not necessary). In medium bowl, beat egg yolks with sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Pour into crust.

Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Spoon raspberry mixture evenly over the top. Chill 4 hours or until set. Top with whipped cream. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Cake

Last week was Elanor's birthday and she wanted chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing. I went to my Hershey's cook book and found a yummy recipe. Click on the link to find the recipe. It is really good. I had some special dark cocoa powder which made everything taste even better.
Chocolate cake and icing

Elanor enjoying the cupcakes

Friday, March 19, 2010

Black Bean Enchiladas

What meal isn't improved by adding bacon? These enchiladas are no exception. It is one of the two secret ingredients. The other is curry. The original recipe called for cumin, but when my friend Sarah and I set out to make this recipe the first time, we realized halfway through that we didn't have any, but that it was one of the ingredients in our curry blend. We used it, and after we tried it later with cumin, discovered we preferred the brightness the curry gave the dish. But if you're a purist, go with cumin.

Black Bean Enchiladas
3 slices bacon
1 chicken breast, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 clove minced garlic (or to taste)
1 can black beans, drained
Roughly 2 cups of your favorite chunky red salsa
Curry or cumin to taste (maybe start with a teaspoon and add from there?)
1/4 tsp salt
Cheese (lots)
6 Flour Tortillas

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Fry the bacon in a large skillet. Remove the bacon when crispy and fry the chicken breast, bell pepper, and minced garlic in the bacon fat until chicken is cooked through.
  3. Crumble the bacon and add it to the skillet, along with the black beans, salsa, curry or cumin, and salt. Heat through.
  4. Fill the tortillas with the mixture, as well as a handful of cheese per tortilla, roll them up, and place them in a 9 x 13 pan. Cover the top with cheese and bake for 20 minutes.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cleaning out the frig meal

So I am starting to pack up and get ready to move..... So I need to get rid of some stuff in the frig.... What do I make.....
This is my Aunt MaryBeth's recipe.

Soy Sauce

Cook rice
Chop any veggies in the frig
chop meats, cook bacon, then crumble
shred any cheese you may have
cut up pineapple (this is a must for me-- sometime fresh, sometimes from a can)

Toss all together in a big bowl (individualized of course) and top with soy sauce. Eat.
Yep it is really good. Of course you can choose your veggies and stuff, but it is one of my family favorites. It has always been part of must go night. So I hope when you ever have a must go night, you will remember Haystacks. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ginger Cookies

These are a family favorite. The flavor is robust, the texture is chewy, and they are a great cookie to have on hand. The best part is that there is only 1/2 cup of fat used for a recipe that calls for four cups of flour, so they are "lower fat" than many other types of cookies.

Ginger Cookies

1/2 c. shortening or margarine (usually I use 1/4 cup of each because the texture turns out better, but you could substitute butter if needed.)
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. molasses
4 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
3 tsp. cinnamon*
3 tsp. cloves*
3 tsp. ginger*
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs. Add molasses and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Roll into 1-inch balls; roll those balls in granulated sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

*The original recipe calls for two teaspoons of the spices, but I tend to like a little more spice to mine so I usually add more. Feel free to reduce the amount when you make these.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Refried Beans

4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces (I usually use kitchen shears and cut right into the pan)
1/2 onion, diced
1 can pinto beans
1/2 C salsa

Fry up bacon pieces, when the bacon is about half way cooked add onions; cook until bacon is done. Drain fat. Add can of beans; let simmer 5 minutes. Mash beans and add salsa. Serve with tortillas, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, etc

This is quick and delicious. I grew up eating these and didn't realize you could buy refried beans in a can until I went to BYU. Sometimes I will use black beans instead of pinto and it is really good.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hearty Clam Chowder

This is the dinner I ask my mom to cook every time I come home.

Hearty Clam Chowder

4 slices bacon
3 green onions & tops, chopped
5 medium sized potatoes, peeled & cut in ½ inch cubes
2 T. chopped green pepper
1 stalk celery, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, minced
2 c. water (roughly)
½ t. pepper
1 t. salt
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
4 drops liquid hot pepper seasoning (I prefer Red Hot)
1 carrot, finely sliced
2 cans chopped or minced clams with nectar (6 ½ oz. cans)
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)

Microwave or fry bacon, then cut into small pieces.
Combine green onions, potatoes, green pepper, celery, carrot, garlic, & bacon in a saucepan. Pour in water to cover (may need more than 2 cups). Season with salt, pepper, Worcestershire, & liquid pepper.
Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Mash mixture with a potato masher until desired consistency.
Add clams (including liquid) & milk. Stir well, then heat just until piping hot (do not boil).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Honey Cornbread Muffins

from Food Channel and the Neelys

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400'F
In a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir UNTIL JUST MIXED. (that is the key, do not over mix cornbread!!!!!)
Divide evenly into each cupcake slot. Bake for 15 minutes, until Golden Brown.

NOTE: I love cornbread but never really had success at it. I think I over mixed it so many times that I truly just stayed away from it. But I love this recipe. It is simple yet very yummy. The honey adds a nice taste to the recipe. I usually make this when I have chili as I love cornbread and chili, but it is good on its own for breakfast as well. If you make it, I think it is best warm (not hot, but warm).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thai Peanut Chicken Soup

I know we just had a Thai recipe (thanks Erin!), but I thought I would share this soup before winter is over. It is very, very good and you don't have to have any special ingredients. It is great served with a good loaf of crusty bread and some fresh vegetables.

3 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes. Bake these covered at about 350 to 375 until soft (or use any method you favor).
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups chopped onion, sauteed
1 Tbs finely chopped garlic, sauteed with the onions
2 cans chicken broth
1/2 cup water
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, UNdrained
3 Tbs flour mixed with 1/2 cup cold water
14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup peanut butter

There aren't real directions for this soup, but this is a good way to do it: Get the butternut squash baking, cook the chicken, and sautee the onion and garlic (I've found that if I brown and cook the chicken in the bottom of the pot, it will add even more flavor to the soup as the pot de-glazes while it simmers). When those are all done, put everything else in the pot and simmer it for a good amount of time. Usually I just taste it periodically until the flavors have begun to meld. And that's it! Because it's a bit labor intensive, I usually double or triple it and freeze some. This recipe doubled fills up a BIG stock pot.

Enjoy! We love this one; it's the ultimate comfort food.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thai Chicken Stirfry

While I can't face eating most of the very small number of meals I knew how to cook when I was first married (I'd be happy never to hear the word "picadillo" again), this is the one meal from that period I can not only stomach, but is still a part of my meal rotation. It also comes together very quickly, and with items I stock in my freezer, so it is a life saver for me.

Thai Chicken Stirfry

2 cups rice
2 chicken breasts
Peanut Sauce (recipe follows)
Canola oil (enough for cooking meat in)
1 Tbsp bottled minced garlic
1 Tbsp bottled chopped ginger (powder works just fine too)
1 bag of your favorite frozen stir fry veggies
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts

Make rice according to package directions.
Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Dice the chicken and add to skillet while you cut. Add garlic and ginger and cook until the chicken is no longer pink (maybe 5 minutes).
While the chicken is cooking, make the peanut sauce, and defrost the stirfry veggies in the microwave if you're like me and didn't think of doing it earlier in the day. When the chicken is no longer pink, add the peanuts and veggies. Stir well, add the peanut sauce, stir again. Cook until heated through and serve over rice.

Peanut Sauce
2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Combine ingredients in small bowl and whisk until combined.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Summer Ready Salad

Chicken Salad
As I am getting ready for summer clothing season and trying to eat FIVE vegetables a day, I have come up with some salad recipes that help with these two goals. This is one of my current salads I am eating a lot. It provides, veggies, protein, a little bit of fat (the good kind) and a treat all in one Salad. What more can a girl ask for from a Salad. So here it is....

red peppers
cooked chicken
crushed corn chips
or any other type of veggie you like on your salads

Yep super simple. Cut, chop, shred all ingredients above. Toss in a salad bowl and top with ranch dressing. Super simple, tasty and healthy! Got to love a salad.

So I usually will cook one or two breast of chicken (with just salt and pepper for taste) and shred it immediately, place in a baggie or container. Freeze if you must, but I usually just place in the frig. I also cut up my lettuce and place in a baggie with a paper towel (to help with extra moisture, plus it makes it quick and easy to prepare). Then when I am ready to assemble, I chop and cut the remaining ingredients, place on top of lettuce and chicken and ta da, a great, healthy salad. Plus it allows me to eat 5 servings of veggies in a meal. I must admit you can leave out the chips, but I like a little crunch in my salad, so I add them. This salad is also good with roasted fresh corn. So if you make corn on the cob or roasted corn on the grill, save an extra ear, cut corn off the ear and add to the Salad. It adds a different yet yummy flavor.

Spinach with Butter & Honey Salad
I love this Salad. It is Super tasty and healthy. It is also amazingly easy. I am always low on iron, so I love that I can get plenty of iron from this meal as well. I have used it as the main meal or a great side dish.

1 bag of baby spinach
1/2 stick of butter
1 Tbsp. shallot- finely chopped
2 Tbsp. honey

Wash and clean spinach. Place in bowl.
Cook butter in pan on stove top. Add in shallots once butter is melted and starting to boil. You want to brown the butter and saute the shallot. Once butter is brown at edges, remove from stove top and add in honey. Once honey, butter and shallots are melted together, pour over spinach and serve.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Crunchy Granola

I love eating granola and yogurt for breakfast, but it is too expensive to buy and eat often. However, I found a great recipe a few weeks ago and I have been able to enjoy granola on the cheap almost every day since. The best thing about this recipe is that there is no added fat (like oils), so it is guilt-free!


  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar (usually I use about half honey and half brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, or slivered almonds
  • Cinnamon to taste (I use a lot; a couple of tablespoons)
  • Ginger (I only ever have ground ginger, but it would be good with minced candied ginger)--not enough to taste "gingery" but enough to add a little something special; maybe a teaspoon or two.
  • Dried fruit--I use craisins, but anything would be good.


Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper (or aluminum foil) and reserve.

Combine brown sugar and water in a 4-cup microwave proof glass measuring cup or bowl. Place in microwave on high for 5 minutes and cook until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from microwave, add vanilla extract and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, nuts, spices, and brown sugar syrup mixture. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Spread the granola onto cookie sheets and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until golden and crunchy.

When the mixture comes out of the oven, it is still very pliable. You may choose to add in dried fruit as a finishing touch at this time (sprinkling it over the top is fine). If you would like clumps rather than individual toasted oats, let it sit undisturbed until cooled, at which point you can break it apart. When granola has cooled completely, store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Applesauce cake

Applesauce Cake
1 C butter
2½ C applesauce
2 C sugar
4 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 lb raisins (opt)
1 C chopped nuts (opt)
Cream butter and add sugar. Sift flour, baking soda and spices. Add to butter and sugar mixture, alternately with applesauce. Add raisins and nuts. Spread in a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350ºF for 1 hour or until done. Sprinkle with powder sugar. Serve with applesauce on top.

That is the original recipe but I've made a few changes. I use half the amount of butter and replace the rest with applesauce. I also use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. My favorite way to serve is warm with warmed applesauce on top and a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mushroom Curry with Green Rice

When mushrooms go on sale, this is what I make. I found the base for this recipe in the very first issue of "Better Homes and Gardens" that I received. Rob and I are rice maniacs (every time we go out for Thai, we have to request extra rice), so we doubled the amount of rice the recipe originally called for, but if you are trying to cut down on carbs, halve my proportions for it below. And if you are a carnivore, adding chicken to the wok works great.

Mushroom Curry with Green Rice
2 cups rice
1 can coconut milk
1 cup snipped fresh cilantro
5 tsp minced ginger (powder works too)
3 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 pound mushrooms (portobello are my favorite for this, but I use whatever is cheap)
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 tsp curry powder (preferably madras, but normal works fine too)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (or tomato of your choosing)
Chopped peanuts to taste

Cook rice according to package directions.

In a blender or food processor, combine 1 cup of the coconut milk, the cilantro, 2 tsp minced ginger, 2 garlic cloves, and the lime juice. Blend until nearly smooth, then stir into the cooked rice.

In a 12 inch skillet or wok, cook mushrooms in hot oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add green onions, curry powder, and remaining ginger and garlic. Cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and remaining coconut milk. Heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with nuts, and serve over the rice.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chicken Stock based soups

So previously I told you how to make homemade chicken stock. You can use it in many other areas and it can go a long, variety of ways. So I am going to provide a few of my family favorite things to make/do with chicken stock. Lots are great for hot winter meals.

Simple yet delicious Spinach Soup

1 can of chicken stock or 2 cups of homemade stock

1 package of frozen spinach

Parmesan cheese

Spices as needed

Place chicken stock in a sauté pan and heat on medium-high heat. Start to boil and add frozen spinach and simmer until spinach absorbs 1/4 of stock. Slowly add Parmesan cheese until you taste enough. Sometimes I had salt, pepper, garlic and other spices. Then serve with garlic bread or any other bread of your choice.

NOTE: My neighbor made this for me over Christmas and I have to say it is one of my favorite cold winter night’s meals. It is also super quick with lots of veggie power- Spinach. I like a lot of Parmesan cheese and prefer real Parmesan, but you could also make it Romano cheese as well. But don't use fresh spinach as it doesn't wilt as well or wilt your spinach in another dish, and then add into stock.

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Pot of chicken stock

Chicken, previously cooked and diced




In one pot cook stock, carrots, celery for about 20 minutes, until veggies are soft. Add chicken for about 5 minutes. Cook noodles in a different pot and add before serving.

NOTE: Simple, healthy yet delicious. I love homemade chicken noodle soup so much more than store bought stuff and it really doesn't take that much time or effort to make. I also love it because with kids, you can use any noodles you want. My Oma use to make this soup and add ABC noodles (you know the really, really, really small alphabet noodles) and ten challenged us to make words out of our spoons. Great learning experience. Sometimes I also add tomatoes into the soup. You really could add any veggies you want to put in the soup, but be careful, as they will soak up the stock. That is also why you don't put uncooked noodles into the stock.

Alternative uses:

Base for any soups, risottos, or sauces for chicken or poultry dishes.

Instead of water in rice, couscous, noodles, or steam vegetables for a new taste