Sunday, October 28, 2007

spinach balls

These are a great way to get some spinach in. Sometimes I keep them in balls and put an alfredo sauce over them (with noodles) and other times I mash them up in Trader Joe's Three Cheese Tomato Sauce and serve them over noodles. Super tasty either way.

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups Rice Chex, crushed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine softened butter, spinach, eggs and 2/3 cup of cereal crbums, cheese and salt/pepper. Mix throughly and shape into balls. Roll ball in remaining cereal crumbs and coat all sides. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

best ever

I made Tonya's Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle last weekend before all these fires started. Oh my goodness, it is so good. We had Devin's parents over for his dad's birthday and the dessert was the best part. Yum! And thanks Tonya for the help and recipe. I want to make it for a dessert this Thanksgiving, the pumpkin and gingerbread combination is beyond good.

crock pot italian chicken

So, so good. I got this through one of those recipe forward emails, made it on a Saturday and came home to a great meal. It's a favorite around here.

1 package cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 package of Italian Seasoning (for making Italian Dressing)
4 chicken breasts

With a hand mixer, mix together cream cheese, cream of chicken soup, and Italian Seasoning. Place chicken in a crock pot and pour mixture over the chicken. Cook at low. Great with rice. Chicken falls apart and is so moist.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Potato Boats

4 large baking potatoes
4 slices bacon
3/4 lb. ground beef
3 green onions, chopped and/or dried chives
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sour cream
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. grated Chedder cheese

Bake potatoes for about an hour, or until tender. Cook bacon, drain, and crumble. In a fry pan, cook ground beef and onion until beef is barely pink. Remove from heat and add sour cream and bacon. Stir. Make a large slit in top of potato and scoop out center, being careful not to break shells. Place shells in a shallow baking pan. In a large bowl, mash potatoes. Add salt, butter, and just enough milk to make them creamy, but still stiff. Fold hamburger mixture into mashed potatoes. Spoon into potato shells and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Ginger Cookies

1 1/2 c. shortening
2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. molasses
4 c. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. ginger

Beat shortening and sugar. Add molasses and eggs. Beat well. Sift in dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Roll into balls and then roll in sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.


One of my favorite things about fall is that you can put pumpkin in absolutely everything you eat and it just makes it more delicous. Have you guys seen this:

at Trader Joe's? If you haven't bought it yet, you must. It is so great on toast with their whipped cream cheese.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

This is my aunt Barb's recipe. To die for.

2 (14 oz.) packages gingerbread mix
1 (5.1 oz.) package cook and serve vanilla pudding mix
1 -30 oz. can pumpkin pie filling
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1-12 oz. container frozen whipped topping (or can use real cream)
1/2 cup gingersnaps

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

Darci's Pumpkin Muffins

My mom makes these every Halloween. I love family traditions.

3 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
3 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
12 oz. chocolate chips

Sift flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. Thoroughly beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, vegetable oil, and water. Fold in flour mixture and chocolate chips. Pour into greased muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes.

Oven Pumkin Risotto

5 cups chicken broth
2 cups medium or short grain white rice
1 can pumpkin
1 Tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

In a shallow 3-4 quart casserole, combine broth, rice, pumpkin, lemon peel and nutmeg. Stir to mix well. Bake in 400 degree oven until fluid begins to be absorbed (about 20 minutes). Stir again until rice is tender to bite and mixture is creamy (about 25 more minutes). Stir in cheese.

To serve, transfer to serving dish and garnish with parmesan cheese curls, cut with vegetable peeler. Makes 6 servings.

-from Sunset Magazine

Sarah D.'s Chocolate Chip Cookies

My first experience meeting Sarah D., she taught in Relief Society and brought these cookies. Talk about a great first impression.

1 cup shortening
1 cup pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 cups chocolate chips

3 Tablespoons melted butter
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
powdered sugar

Blend together shortening, sugar, pumpkin, egg and vanilla. Add flour and other dry ingredients. Blend. Add chocolate chips.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.

Icing: Boil all ingredients but powdered sugar for 2 minutes. Take off heat. Add powdered sugar and stir with wire whisk until desired consistency. Pour on while cookies are warm. Add milk if icing hardens while waiting for other batches to come out.

roasted meditteranean chicken

This is really good. And easy to make in the morning if you find yourself crunched for time in the evening...

Four Cheese Alfredo Sauce (16 oz - I like Classico)
4 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tb. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
5 garlic cloves, crushed
4 chicken breasts (I only do two)
8 small red potatoes
6 roma tomatoes
1 can artichoke hearts
1 tb. rosemary

Quarter potatoes and tomatoes. Defrost chicken. Add all together in baking dish and cover with sauce. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour (cover with foil) at 450 degrees.

Enjoy with french bread and a salad!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Twirly Whirly Pizza

I just made this for the first time. It was great, the kids loved it. A sneaky way to get some spinach in.

1 tube (13.8 oz) refrigerated pizza dough (you could use homemade, too!)
1/2 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup shredded Italian-mix cheese, divided
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves

1. Heat over to 400 degrees F. Unroll dough from tube. Spread pizza sauce on top.
2. Sprinkle with half of cheese and top with spinach leaves, then pepperoni. Roll up, starting with short end.
3. Cut into 8 pieces, then lay pieces flat in a greased pie tin. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake 22 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- from Parents Magazine
(I added the pepperoni. It is a well known fact that if there is not meat in the food, it is not a meal to my husband.)

10 minute tortellini

The recipe actually calls for ravioli, but I like tortellini better, so I subsituted that. I first found this off Wire. Whisk but only recently made it. Since the sauce is a runny cream sauce, I recommend getting some bread to soak it up.'s tasty. And seriously, the fastest dish you can make.

2 9 oz. four-cheeze fresh ravioli (Trader Joe's makes great one's. Also, I like Pesto better)
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced (I'm not a garlic fan, so I just did a tsp. of minced garlic)
2 lbs ripe tomatoes, seeded, chopped
1 cup dry white wine (can sub. with grape juice or apple juice)
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 Tbs chopped fresh tarragon (I left this ingredient out b/c I didn't have it)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain. Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; saute 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and simmer until juicy, about 5 minutes. Stir in wine; simmer 3 minutes. Stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat and slowly stir in whipping cream. Place ravioli in serving bowl and spoon sauce over.

Serve with bread and a salad. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

cheese sandwiches

I made a simple meal on Sunday, but it was tasty. I bought the Trader Joe's Tomato Soup (which is good!) and made cheese sandwiches and had salad's on the side. I love cheese sandwiches with sourdough bread and really good cheese. I love swiss and cheddar, but Grueye would be pretty good too.

Sliced sourdough bread
Sharp cheddar cheese
Baby swiss cheese

Butter one side on a slice of sourdough bread and place on the frying pan on the stove. Place cheese on top and other slice of bread (with butter on top ready to flip) and grill.

Monday, October 08, 2007

taco bowls

we had these for dinner tonight. big hit.

20 6 inch flour tortillas
1 lb ground beef
taco seasoning
16 oz shredded cheese (I use the Mexican blend from Costco)

Preheat the oven to 350. Trim about 1/2 inch from edge of tortillas, push into muffin tins.

Brown ground beef, add seasoning and about 2/3 cup of water, simmer until water is absorbed. Put about 2 Tablespoons of meat into each muffin tin. Cover with cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and tortillas are brown.

Serve with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, avocados, etc.

taco seasoning

I never buy the packaged taco seasoning from the store. Did you realize they all have MSG in them? This is easy enough to make and keep on hand.

1 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. each ground cumin, garlic powder, and paprika
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Makes 3 tablespoons of seasoning mix, which is equal in strength to a 1/4 ounce package of commercial seasoning mix.

jerk chicken sandwiches

A friend just emailed me asking for this recipe today. They are great. (Don't worry Megg, you don't have to add the onions.)

3 tablespoons Caribbean jerk seasoning
½ cup chicken broth
1 ½ lb. chicken breast
¼ cup ketchup
1 large red or green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
6 French rolls

Place bell pepper and onion in bottom of Crock Pot. Place chicken over vegetables. Sprinkle seasoning all over chicken. In small bowl, combine broth and ketchup; mix well and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Shred chicken with two forks. With slotted spoon, place chicken and veggies on hoagie buns and serve.

last wednesday

Halloween placemat? Check.

Three Cheese Macaroni? Check.

Edamame? Check.

Fresh Strawberries? Check (not pictured).

Steak Kabobs? Check (they were on the bbq).

Good meal? Check.

*I forgot to add the kabobs if you read this earlier. I knew something was missing when I wrote it!

halloween cookies

These are really tasty cookies (obviously, not many left in our cookie jar!). And because of the cocoa and peanut butter chips, they are super festive this time of year. I love giving them to my neighbors on Halloween-eve.

2 eggs
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. lemon
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup Hershey dry cocoa
1 cup sugar

2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder

peanut butter chips!

Form a ball and bake at 350 degrees about 12 minutes.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Edamame + Salt

Edamame (Fresh):
Steam for a few minutes on your stovetop, add some sea salt (see below) and enjoy!

I love these. $1.49 each at Trader Joes.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

I made this cake for my 3 year old. It is delish!
(For some reason, I forgot to take a pic until it was partially devoured.)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.

Beat butter, both sugars and vanilla in large mixer bowl.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.

Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture.

Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Spread into prepared pan.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Once cooled, decorate with homemade frosting.

The BEST granola recipe ever. EVER.

8 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups wheat germ
1 1/2 cups oat bran
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup honey
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups raisins or sweetened dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment or aluminum foil.

Combine the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.

Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Cool, then stir in the raisins or cranberries before storing in an airtight container.

Roast Beef and Avocado Mini Sandwiches

1 ripe avocado
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon minced fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons mayo
1/2 lb thinly sliced rare roast beef
Hawaiian rolls

Mash avocado and add lemon juice, chives, salt, pepper and mayo. Spread avocado mixture over one side of each roll. Top with roast beef and arugula.

Broccoli Cheddar Dip

3 cups broccoli florets, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
3 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small garlic clove
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, room temperature, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup yogurt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In boiling water, dip broccoli for 1 minute. Immediately drain and rinse under cold water. Pat dry. Transfer 1/3 of broccoli to container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Transfer remaining broccoli, scallions and garlic to food processor and pulse for about 5 seconds, until uniformly chopped. Transfer to medium bowl.

In same processor, combine cheddar and cream cheese, process until smooth, about 3 minutes. Return broccoli mixure to processor, add yogurt and pepper. Pulse until blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve with reserved broccoli florets, breadsticks, pretzels, or on baked potatoes.

Gingery Limeade

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime rind
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4 limes)
2 1/2 cups cold water
4 lime slices

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with wisk until sugar dissolves. Strain mixture through sieve into a pitcher. Add juice and cold water. Chill completely. Serve with lime slices. Makes four 1 cup servings.

-from Cooking Light, August 2007

Artichoke Bacon Chicken Salad Sandwiches

1/3 cup plain low fat yogurt
1/4 cup light mayo
3/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
1 cup drained canned artichoke hearts, chopped
4 bacon sliced, cooked and crumbled
2 cups trimmed arugula
8 slices sourdough bread

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in chicken, bacon and artichoke hearts. Divide arugula evenly over 4 sliced of bread; top each with 3/4 cup chicken mixture and other slice of bread.

-from Cooking Light, August 2007

pumpkin spice muffins

fall foods are the best! i just got this from and will be making them this Sunday. i hate to add a recipe that i have not tried yet, but how can you go wrong with pumpkin? i absolutely love anything pumpkin.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 3/4 tablespoons canned solid-pack pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 2/3 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans

1. Heat oven to 375 degree F. Coat 12 standard-size muffin-pan cups with nonstick cooking spray, coating muffin-pan top around cups as well.

2. Mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and allspice in large bowl. With pastry blender or 2 knives used scissors fashion, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs.

3. Beat together egg substitute, pumpkin, milk and vanilla in small bowl until blended. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture just until blended. Spoon batter into muffin cups, dividing equally. Sprinkle pecans over the tops of the muffin batter.

4. Bake in 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes or until golden and a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Remove muffins from the pan to a wire rack. Let cool slightly. Serve warm. Makes 12 muffins.

meatball sandwiches

Such a good dinner and even better leftovers. All from Trader Joe's.

1 fresh french baguette
1 frozen package party size meatballs
1 jar three cheese tomato sauce
1 block baby swiss cheese

Mix meatballs and sauce over medium heat (cook about 20 minutes, the meatballs are already cooked!).

Slice baguette and cheese. When the meatballs are done, layer the meatballs and cheese onto the bread. Roll in tin foil and bake for approx 3-5 minutes in oven at 350 degrees (just enough to make cheese melt).

Enjoy with a salad.