Monday, March 30, 2009

Pioneer Woman Chocolate Sheet Cake

I found this on the Pioneer Woman blog! She has lots of great recipes and this one I had to try right away! She describes this at the end of her recipe as the best chocolate sheet cake ever! I would have to agree with her!!

It is melt in your mouth moist!!
Pioneer Woman Chocolate Sheet Cake
Combine in a mixing bowl:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
In a saucepan, melt:
2 sticks butter
Add 4 heaping tbsp cocoa. Stir together.
Add 1 cup boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.
In measuring cup, pour 1/2 cup buttermilk.
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
While cake is baking, make icing:
Chop 1/2 cup pecans finely. ( I omitted because I didn't have any!)
Melt 1 3/4 sticks butter in a saucepan.
Add 4 heaping tbsp cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat.
6 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb minus 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Stir together.
Add pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake.
Cut into squares, eat, and totally wig out over the fact that you've just made the best chocolate sheet cake. Ever. (direct quote from the pioneer woman!)

French Dip

Can I just say that I love the crock pot?! I am a big French dip fan and this one is my favorite recipe for it. I made it the other night and have been enjoying the leftovers all week. My family will all eat it, it's just not their fav.
1 roast (not really particular on the type, they have always come out great whatever I have used)
2 cups of water
1 package dry onion soup mix
1/4 cup soy sauce

Make sure to trim any fat off the roast. Put all in crock pot. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. Take out and shred meat or cut (if you have a slicer this works well). I always do this ahead of time then put back in crock pot until ready to serve. Serve on buns with dipping sauce. I just get all the meat out when ready to serve and ladle out the juice left in the crock pot to dip. Yum!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Caramel Corn

I found this on a blog a while ago and now can't remember where! It turned out really good!
I added a little bit too much popcorn, so next time I will make sure to either double the caramel or add the right amount! Also it makes more of a "Cracker Jack" caramel corn than sticky gooey! ENJOY!!
Caramel Corn
1/2 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 quarts (12 cups) popped corn
In a heavy saucepan on medium to med.-high heat melt butter then add brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly. Once mixture boils stop stirring and boil for 5 minutes (DO NOT STIR). Remove from heat and carefully stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour mixture over popped corn. Gently stir to coat popcorn. Place popcorn into a large roaster or rimmed baking sheet (I used a 9 x 13 pan) and bake at 225 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

Potato Soup

This is a recipe I decided to try for potato soup not only because I love potato soup but I wanted one for the crock pot. It makes it so easy and it is really become one of my favorites. We had this for St. Patrick's Day and made it green.

5 cups of potatoes, diced
1/3 cup chopped onion
3 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/8 tsp pepper
Combine in crock pot. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until potatoes are tender. Add:
8 oz. cream cheese
bacon pieces
Stir until blended may take a few minutes for cream cheese to melt and mix. Add fresh chives (I use bottled sometimes and they are still good. I think chives really makes this soup. I love it!!) to the top of your soup and serve.
This makes quite a bit. It feeds our family of seven with no leftovers (I will be doubling it next time!)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dried Beans

from Family Circle Magazine
Prep steps for Dried Beans
1. Pick through: Pour dried beans onto a large baking sheet. Spread out and pick through, discarding any rocks, dirt and debris.
2. Quick soak: Combine 1 pound of beans (2 1/2 cups) in large pot with 12 cups of water and 2 tsp. salt. Boil 2 minutes, then soak in pot for 1 hour.
3. Overnight soak: In a large bowl, combine 1 pound of beans (2 1/2 cups) with 8 cups of water and 1 tsp salt. Refrigerate overnight.
Cooking soaked beans: Rinse soaked beans. Place 1 pound of beans in a large pot. Add 6 cups of hot water, 2 tbsp oil, 2 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp garlic salt, 3 small chicken bouillon cuges and 1/4 tsp pepper. Heat to boiling, then simmer 30 minutes or until tender. (May need longer, check your beans first!!)
"Pound for pound, they cost 1/3 the price of canned beans. But while you do need to budget time to clean, soak, and cook them, then you can savor the savings!!"


I found this info. on the sisters cafe and thought I would share!
Lentils are a health powerhouse and easy to prepare. You don't have to soak them like other legumes and they have a short cooking time. Lentils have a high level of protein, and they also contain dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and minerals. Health magazine has selected lentils as one of the five healthiest foods. Lentils are also one of the best vegetable sources of iron!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chicken Nuggets

My sister gave me this recipe, and I am not sure where it came from!
I know chicken nuggets are easy to buy, but I am sure these are healthier!!
Chicken Nuggets

1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tsp honey
chicken breast cut into 1 inch wide strips
2/3 cup dried bread crumbs
coarse salt

In a large bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine buttermilk and honey. Add chicken and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to overnight, turning occasionally. ( I doubled the recipe and had 3 chicken breasts)

Heat broiler. Put breadcrumbs in a dish. Lift chicken from buttermilk; dredge in breadcrumbs, patting them in. Place a rack (cooling rack) on top of a cookie sheet and spray with Pam. Arrange chicken in a single layer on rack and spray again.

Broil 4 inches from heat source (without turning), until chicken is golden brown and cooked through, 6-8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt.

Dip chicken in ranch, barbeque sauce, or honey dipping sauce.

Honey Dipping Sauce

1 cup mayonaise
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp peanut butter

Mix together and enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my sisters families favorite Chocolate Chip cookie recipe! She found it on the back of the Guittard chocolate chip bag!
I tried them yesterday and they are great and even better as ice cream sandwiches! She said that this is there favorite treat!!
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour (may need to add a little more)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients together, adding chocolate chips last. Bake 350 for 8-10 minutes!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

White Bread

I know shame on me for making white bread, but my grinder has not made it to my house yet from moving!! (Yea, nice excuse!!) I have 2 favorite bread recipes right now and thought I would share! You can substitute with half wheat flour or just enjoy it as it is!!

Perfect White Bread

2 cups milk, scalded
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp shortening
1 pkg active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsps)
1/4 cup warm water
6 cups bread flour (I have only ever used 4-4 1/2 cups, so be careful not to add too much!)

In a small saucepan, heat milk until it bubbles. Remove from heat and add the sugar, salt, and shortening. Cool to lukewarm. While milk mixture is cooling, dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand until creamy.

Combine cooled milk with yeast and water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in 2 cups of flour, and then add remaining flour a 1/2 cup at a time to make a moderately stiff dough. ( I add until the dough comes off the sides of my mixer) Knead on a lightly floured surface for 8-10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. ( I actually did this in my mixer too!) Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat the dough. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume (about 1 1/4 hours).

Lightly grease two bread loaf pans. Punch down dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into 2 balls, cover and let rest 10 minutes. Shape dough into 2 loaves and place in pans; let rise until doubled (about 1 hour) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Mom's Bread
(my mom has made this bread since I was a kid)

4 cups warm water
4 tbsp yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 tbsp salt
10 cups bread flour

Mix yeast and warm water until yeast starts bubbling. Add remaining ingredients adding about 8 cups of flour and then adding about 1/2 cup at a time until dough pulls off bowl. Raise covered for 30 minutes. Shape dough into 4 loaves and raise in pans for 30 minutes. Bake 375 for 30 minutes!

Pizza Sauce

I found this recipe on Real Mom Kitchen and had to try it! We have the tortilla pizzas almost on a regular basis and this sauce was so easy and good and I had everything on hand!!
Pizza Sauce

1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp sugar

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until reaches desired consistency!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thin Mint Cupcakes

I found this on Real Mom kitchen and had to try it for St. Patricks Day! She made homemade cupcakes, I cheated and used a box mix and thought they were really good! If you want the homemade cupcake recipe go to
Thin Mint Cupcakes

1 chocolate cake mix
Thin Mint girl scout cookies (or any type of grasshopper cookies)
Vanilla Buttercream frosting, tinted green

Mix cake according to package directions. Put one sleeve of girl scout cookies (or about 16-18 cookies) in a ziploc bag and crush cookies! Put cookies in cake mix at the end and mix them in. Pour batter into prepared cupcake pans and bake according to package directions.

Make green frosting and pipe on to cupcake and put a part of a cookie on top!
So simple and the cupcakes turned out really really moist!!

Irish Soda Bread

One Hundred fifty years ago it was common to make bread using baking soda rather than yeast in parts of rural Ireland.
That's where Irish soda bread gets its name!
The practice of using baking soda started out of necessity. Yeast won't make dough rise unless the baker uses "strong" flour, which was scarce in parts of Ireland. Baking soda, however, could be counted on to leaven bread. The baking soda has to be combined with something acidic in order to do its magic. In this case, buttermilk is used!
(from Family Fun magazine)
Irish Soda Bread
(from familyfun)

2 cups flour
2 cups wheat flour (or 2 more of white)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter, chilled
1 cup raisins (optional)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Heat oven to 350. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients.
Cut in butter until it is pea sized. Stir in raisins and buttermilk. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, knead 1 minute, and shape into a disk. (I have also made 3 smaller disks and adjusted the baking time) Cut an "X" in the top and bake on a greased baking sheet for 45-50 minutes.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Festive Salad

This is one of my favorite salads! I made it last night and didn't end up with a picture, because it was all gone!!! My mom brought this recipe home for a Relief Society dinner she went too and it is definitely a winner!!
Festive Salad
1 head iceberg lettuce
1 bunch spinach
1 bunch green leaf lettuce
(This makes alot of salad, I often add what lettuce I have for the amount I need!)
2 cans mandarin oranges, drained
2 granny smith apples, cubed
1/2 lb bacon--crumbled
1 pkg. slivered almonds
1 small bag shredded mozzarella cheese
~Clean lettuces and tear apart. Chill lettuces, oranges, and cubed apples. Just before serving put the rest of the salad together and pour dressing over and enjoy!!
Raspberry Vinaigrette
3 ounces raspberry vinegar (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp)
1/4 cup sugar
3-4 tbsp grated red onion
3/4 tsp salt
pinch of dry mustard
3/4 cup oil
3/4 tbsp poppy seeds
Mix all ingredients together and pour over salad!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fresh Angel Hair Pasta with Peas and Bacon

I love this stuff! This recipe came from Everyday Food. It is so simple but so yum and full of flavor. One of those dishes that you'd rather not share--even the leftovers! It is also very easy to add variation to.

Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 slices bacon, sliced crosswise into ½ inch pieces
2 shallots, halved and thinly sliced (I just used onion)
10 oz. frozen peas, thawed (I used a carrot/pea mix)
1 cup half and half
18 oz. fresh angel hair pasta

Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to paper towel lined plate to drain. Do not drain skillet. Add shallot/onion to skillet (that's right, you are actually going to cook in the bacon grease and that is the secret to the yumminess of this recipe). Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Add peas and half and half, seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, drain pasta, return to pot. Pour sauce over pasta, toss to combine, adding some reserved pasta water a little at a time to coat. Sprinkle with bacon, serve immediately.....and I have really no idea why this whole post is in italics...but at least you have another good recipe!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Italian Lentil Soup

I have been really interested in trying new BEAN recipes, in order to find ones I like since they are great for the food storage! I found this recipe on a craft blog I look at called A feathered Nest and decided to give it a try!
It turned out really good and even my kids ate it up!!

Italian Lentil Soup

1/2 cup olive oil

2 carrots, peeled, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp dried Italian Seasoning (or 1 tsp each of thyme, oregano, & basil)

1 bag dried, green lentils

16 cups broth (or bullion cubes & water)

2 tsp salt (I prefer less)

1/2 tsp black pepper

cooked pasta or 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice

grated Romano cheese for sprinkling on top (I used parmesan cheese)

Half and Half (optional)

~In a large stockpot, heat olive oil and saute carrots, celery, and onion. Cook 3-5 minutes until soft. Add garlic, seasoning, and lentils. Stir; cook 30 seconds. Add broth, salt and pepper. If using brown rice, add it now.

~(Keep in mind that the rice will absorb liquid. If you like a runnier soup, cook rice separately or add more broth) I found there was plenty of broth with normal amounts!

~Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes on low heat until lentils are tender. If using pasta, add cooked pasta (like macaroni or small shells) separately. If you're planning on freezing some in containers or freezer bags, do not add pasta to the whole soup. Set aside the soup you plan on freezing and then add your pasta.

~Top your soup with some fresh grated cheese. To make it a little more delish, add the half and half here and enjoy!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Calico Beans

My grandmother brought this recipe home once when I was a kid! I am sure there are versions of it everywhere! By far this is a great way to eat beans! I saw on a cooking show once that everything is better with bacon! Well this has bacon and sugar and ketchup, what could be better and you are eating BEANS!!
Calico Beans

1 lb hamburger
1 medium onion
1/2 lb bacon
1/2 cup ketchup
1 can each of kidney beans, lima beans, pork and beans, garbanzo beans
(I use the cans closest to 20 oz cans)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vinegar

Brown hamburger and onions together. Cook bacon until crisp. Combine all other ingredients together, rinsing the kidney, lima, and garbanzo beans first. Add your bacon and hamburger. Bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Flautas is what the initial recipe was for, but I decided not to fry mine! I wrapped up my tortillas with everything and grilled them on the stove! They turned out great, next time I will try the frying!

The chicken shredded perfectly from the crock pot and it had great flavor!
Grilling instead of frying!! Super simple and really good chicken!

(from Realmomkitchen)
3 chicken breasts
1 tbsp fajita seasoning (or your own combination of Mexican seasonings
1 tsp garlic salt
10 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheese
oil for deep frying
toppings of your choice to dip them in such as salsa, guacamole, sour cream, etc.
Place your chicken in a crock pot with the fajita seasoning and garlic salt and cook on low for at least 6 hours. About 1 hour before you want to eat, remove chicken from the crock pot. Shred the chicken and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Then mix in shredded cheese. Now it's time to fill the tortillas. Warm your tortillas in the microwave. They will be easier to roll up. Put some of the chicken at one end of the tortillas and roll up jelly-roll style and secure with a toothpick. Then deep fry these until golden brown and enjoy dipping them in whatever you like!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

White Chip Island Cookies

I found this recipe on the back of a Nestle white chocolate chip bag! They turned out really good, next time I will make sure and try it with nuts!!

White Chip Island Cookies

1 2/3 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups white chips
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted if desired
3/4 cup macadamia nuts or walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in white chip morsels, coconut and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 8-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely!